Claudette Chaisson v. Hornbeck Offshore Services, et al


UNPUBLISHED OPINION FILED. [10-20334 Affirmed ] Judge: WED , Judge: EBC , Judge: JWE Mandate pull date is 05/31/2011 [10-20334]

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Case: 10-20334 Document: 00511472475 Page: 1 Date Filed: 05/10/2011 IN THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS United States Court of Appeals FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT Fifth Circuit FILED May 10, 2011 No. 10-20334 Lyle W. Cayce Clerk CLAUDETTE CHAISSON, Individually, as Next Friend of the Minor J.V.C. and as Administratrix of the Estate of J.V.C., Plaintiff - Appellant KIMBERLY ROY; JOHN MICHAEL CHAISSON; CHRISTOPHER JOHN CHAISSON, Intervenor Plaintiffs - Appellants v. HORNBECK OFFSHORE SERVICES, INC.; HORNBECK OFFSHORE TRANSPORTATION, LLC; EXXON MOBIL CORPORATION; HORNBECK OFFSHORE OPERATORS, LLC, Defendants - Appellees Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas USDC No. 4:09-CV-506 Before DAVIS, CLEMENT, and ELROD, Circuit Judges. PER CURIAM:* * Pursuant to 5TH CIR . R. 47.5, the court has determined that this opinion should not be published and is not precedent except under the limited circumstances set forth in 5TH CIR . R. 47.5.4. Case: 10-20334 Document: 00511472475 Page: 2 Date Filed: 05/10/2011 Chaisson was an employee of a contractor who was hired to conduct an inspection of fire equipment and fire protection systems aboard Hornbeck’s tug, the PATRIOT SERVICE, which was tied to a barge that was moored at Exxon’s dock on the Mississippi River in Chalmette, Louisiana. After finishing his inspections, Chaisson fell overboard and drowned. Chaisson’s employer’s policy mandated that he wear a personal flotation device (“PFD”); although he had a PFD in his company truck, he did not utilize it. A Hornbeck deckhand also instructed him to don a PFD before exiting the fidley, the last place Chaisson was seen alive, but Chaisson did not. The survivors of John Chaisson brought this action, claiming that the Hornbeck defendants were responsible for Chaisson’s death by breaching their duties to him under 33 U.S.C. § 905(b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and that Exxon was responsible for his death due to its negligence. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Hornbeck defendants and Exxon. The district court held that the Hornbeck defendants had not breached the narrow duties owed by a shipowner to maritime workers under § 905(b). See Scindia Steam Navigation Co. v. De Los Santos, 451 U.S. 156, 168–69 (1981); Manuel v. Cameron Offshore Boats, 103 F.3d 31, 33 n.6 (5th Cir. 1997). It further held that Exxon was not liable in negligence for Chaisson’s death under Louisiana law. “The basic principle which emerges from Scindia is that the primary responsibility for the safety of the [contractor’s employee] rests upon the [contractor].” Randolph v. Laeisz, 896 F.2d 964, 970 (5th Cir. 1990). We have reviewed the briefs, pertinent portions of the record, and the applicable law and have heard the arguments of counsel. Because there is no error, the summary judgment is AFFIRMED, essentially for the reasons given by the district court. 2

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