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.

Continue reading “Statute of Limitations in Maritime Cases not Limited to Vessels Engaged in Commerce”

Louisiana state law prohibits design-build contracts unless an exception is made by the legislature.  The ban against design-build contracts stems from the thought that it gives too much power and money to a single firm, rather than having two or more firms design and build infrastructure projects separately.  However, proponents point out that such contracts often save time and money.  The Louisiana Senate and and Governor Jindal agreed with the latter, leading the governor to sign into law Senate Bill 159.

Continue reading “Jindal Authorizes Design-Build Contracts for New Ferries and Bridges that Replace Tunnels”

Three death row inmates at Angola filed suit against the Louisiana Department of Corrections and various officials alleging that the lack of air conditioning on death row amounted to a violation of the Eighth Amendment, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and the Rehabilitation Act. The inmates argued that their health conditions were made worse by high temperatures, and that their being kept in hot cells amounts to cruel and unusual punishment. The trial court ruled in favor of the Eighth Amendment claim, but rejected the disability claims. The trial court also issued an injunction effectively requiring the installation of air conditioning throughout the death row. The injunction required that the entire death row be kept at a heat index at or below 88 degrees. The trial court reasoned that the three plaintiffs can be moved to any cell, and thus, the entire cell block needed to be kept cool.

Continue reading “Air Conditioning is Not a Constitutional Right for All”

Plaintiff filed suit under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), alleging injuries to his left elbow, cervical spine, and lumbar spine as the result of an accident that occurred while working on Ram-Powell, a tension-leg fixed platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico in Viosca Knoll Block 956. The parties agreed that under OCSLA the substantive law for injuries occurring on fixed offshore platforms located on the outer continental shelf is the law of the adjacent state. However, they disagreed as to which state’s law applied. Plaintiff argued that Louisiana law should apply as it was the geographically closest to the platform in question. Defendants, on the other hand, asserted that Alabama was the adjacent state and its law should apply, and filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue.

Continue reading “Geographical Proximity is Not the Only Factor in Deciding OCSLA Jurisdiction”

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.

Continue reading “Mineral Lessees Have No Duty to Police the Waterways they Lease”