Plaintiff was injured while aboard Defendant’s pleasure yacht in 2011. In 2015, Plaintiff filed a negligence based lawsuit in federal court. Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a maritime tort barred the claim. Plaintiff argued that the maritime statute of limitation did not apply because his case was not maritime in nature since he was aboard a pleasure yacht rather than a seagoing vessel.
In June 2014, Plaintiff was checking his crab traps when his skiff struck a submerged piling. Plaintiff’s vessel was damaged by the collision, and he sustained injuries to his head, neck, back, and other areas. He alleged that the negligence of Hilcorp Energy Company and Roustabouts, Inc. caused the accident. It is well established that a private company assumes liability for damages resulting from a collision of a boat with an obstruction in navigable waters when it has ownership, custody or is responsible for placement of the obstruction in the navigable waters. Here, Hilcorp had held the mineral lease where the accident occurred since July 2010, and Roustabouts was contracted to provide oilfield construction services to Hilcorp.