Civil Procedure Maritime

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Virginia Supreme Court Opinions Affecting Local Government Law: April 17, 2014

The Virginia Supreme Court issued opinions yesterday morning. After last term issuing no opinions significantly affecting Virginia Local Government Law (at least not in this author’s judgment), this term’s opinions are a...more

A SPAR Is Not A Vessel, But Is A SPAR A Building?

Are SPAR platforms immoveable buildings? On April 9, 2014, Judge Rebecca Doherty issued a memorandum ruling in Hefren v. Murphy Exploration & Production Co., USA, et al., that they are, meaning in Louisiana a five-year window...more

District Court Extends Fifth Circuit’s Naquin Decision to Barge Cleaning/Repair Employee

As previously reported (regarding the Naquin decision), the Fifth Circuit recently expanded the scope of Jones Act seaman status to include a shipyard worker who spent 70% of his time working aboard vessels (usually moored to...more

Hercules and the Lernaean Hydra: The Hercules Removal Jurisprudence Sprouts Yet Another Head

In yet another twist in the tortured labors of the Hercules jurisprudence regarding removal of general maritime law claims under 28 U.S.C. §1441(a), the Eastern District of Louisiana has generated a new, divergent “head” on...more

Eastern District of Louisiana Rules that Factual Portions of Incident Report by Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement...

In the new world of shared regulatory oversight between the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and BSEE on the Outer Continental Shelf (OCS), a mundane devil-in-the-details – but nonetheless vitally important question – had...more

All That Floats is Not A Boat: Eastern District of Louisiana Jettisons Fifth Circuit’s Holmes Decision, Rules That Quarter Barge...

The three men in the tub will no longer have recourse to the federal courts’ admiralty jurisdiction, at least not in the Eastern District of Louisiana. In Martin v. Fab-Con, Inc., 2014 WL 1246073 (E.D. La. Mar. 24, 2014) – a...more

Sound, Speed, and Distance - The Second Circuit Allows Use of SVDR Data as Evidence in Maritime Casualty

In a Summary Order dated March 13, 2014, the United States Court of Appeals for Second Circuit affirmed a summary judgment of the Southern District of New York, which ruled in favor of a vessel owner based on data of the...more

28 U.S.C. §1333 - The Shirt of Nessus that May Bring Down Hercules?

As detailed in numerous prior posts (most recently regarding the Coronel decision), a series of decisions allowing removal of general maritime law (GML) claims by seamen, even when combined with otherwise statutorily...more

The Labors of Hercules: Federal District Court in Washington Rejects Free Removability of General Maritime Law Claims Under 28...

As reported in two prior posts (The Removal of the Ancient Mariner - The Developing Jurisprudence Allowing Removal of General Maritime Law Claims under the Recent Amendments to 28 U.S.C. §1441(b) and The Removal of the...more

Fifth Circuit Limits Pollution Liability

In a significant decision issued February 24, 2014, the Fifth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals ruled that federal laws preempt state laws in the case of the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill, because the event occurred in federal...more

Foundering On "Sea-Tossed" Waters? The Fifth Circuit Grants En Banc Rehearing in Estis

After making a splash in October of 2013 with a landmark ruling in McBride v. Estis Well Service, L.L.C., 731 F.3d 505, 517 (5th Cir. 2013) "that punitive damages remain available to seamen as a remedy for the general...more

The Removal of the Ancient Mariner - Reprising a Sea-Change in Admiralty Law

As originally discussed in a recent post on Striding the Quarterdeck (December 9, 2013), amendments to 28 U.S.C. §1441 have effected a sea-change in admiralty procedure by ostensibly allowing removal of general maritime law...more

BOEM Gives a Lesson on How Not To Survive NEPA Review

Last week, the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals agreed with the plaintiffs that the Environmental Impact Statement issued by the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management to support oil and gas leasing in the Chukchi Sea was flawed. ...more

Sin of Omission: Ninth Circuit Splits with the Fifth, Finds That Failure to Include Addendum No. 2 Creates Ambiguity in Marine...

In a marine builder's risk policy coverage dispute decided under Washington state law, the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit reversed and remanded a grant of summary judgment for Underwriters. ...more

California Appellate Court Limits Application of Sophisticated User Doctrine

Stepping back from broad application of the sophisticated user doctrine in product liability and toxic tort litigation, the Second District of the California Court of Appeal, recently affirmed a jury’s $21 million verdict for...more

Second Circuit Firmly Aligns (for now) with the Robins Dry Dock Rule on Non-Recoverability of Pure Economic Damages Absent...

The United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in American Petroleum & Transport, Inc. v. New York, 2013 WL 6332548 (2d Cir. Dec. 6, 2013) recently - albeit reluctantly - joined the fleet of other federal circuit...more

The Further Adventures Of The Fifth Circuit And The LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

On Tuesday, October 8, 2013, the United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in BPU Management, Inc. v DOWCP (Donald Morgan) again addressed jurisdictional coverage under The Longshore and Harbor Workers’...more

Data Not Used by Port Agent in Performance of His Official Duty is Not a Public Record

A shipping association submitted a public records request for a pilot log from the port agent of the Board of Pilot Commissioners for the Bays of San Francisco, San Pablo, and Suisun (“Board”). The port agent, who is a...more

Fifth Circuit Narrows “Adjoining Area” Definition In LHWCA Jurisdiction Test

On April 29, 2013, the Fifth Circuit issued an opinion for the en banc Court in New Orleans Depot Services, Inc. v. Director OWCP, 718 F.3d 384 (5th Cir. 2013) that effectively reformulated the 1972 situs jurisdictional...more

File The Complaint For Limitation Of Liability Part 2: Electric Boogaloo

The scenario may be all too familiar. A vessel owner is involved in a commercial relationship with a valuable customer, when a marine casualty involving the vessel occurs....more

New York Appeals Court Issues Important Rule B And Maritime Corporate Veil-Piercing Decision; Lenient U.S. Maritime Law...

For the past sixty years, and until January 11, 2013, U.S. federal courts routinely have applied the comparatively expansive (and potentially creditor-friendly) "maritime law of veil piercing" when examining veil-piercing...more

Virginia Supreme Court decision reversing $17.5 million asbestos verdict against ExxonMobil Corp. stands

On June 10, 2013, the U.S. Supreme Court declined to accept the appeal of a case dealing with the duty of ship owners, under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (33 U.S.C. §§ 901, et seq.), to intervene in...more

Geoffrey Scimone v. Carnival Corporation

Order Affirming Denial of Defendant's Motion for Removal

On July 1, 2013 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 11th Circuit held that plaintiffs in separate lawsuits could not be joined together for purposes of complying with the Class Action Fairness Act (CAFA).The Court rejected...more

Gross Negligence The Focus Of BP Oil Spill Post-Trial Briefing Order

Gross negligence is a focus of post-trial briefing orders in the BP oil spill litigation. After weeks of testimony, and dramatic “reveals” of newly discovered evidence that had been hiding in labs for years, the Phase...more

California Environmental Law and Policy Update - May 20, 2013

Environmental and Policy Focus - Federal omission in closing oyster farm broke law, court told - Los Angeles Times - May 14: The U.S. Interior Department violated federal law by failing to conduct an...more

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