Chevron Midstream Pipelines LLC et al v. Settoon Towing LLC, et al
ORDER denying without prejudice 122 Motion to Dismiss for Failure to State a Claim. Signed by Judge Jay C. Zainey. (Reference: 13-2809, 13-3197)(jrc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
PIPELINES LLC, ET AL.
SETTOON TOWING LLC, ET AL.
SECTION: "A" (5)
Before the Court is a Motion to Dismiss Punitive Damages
Claims (Rec. Doc. 122) filed by Chevron Midstream Pipelines LLC,
Chevron Pipe Line Company, and Chevron U.S.A. Inc. (collectively
(collectively “Plaintiffs”) oppose the motion. The motion, set for
hearing on June 18, 2014, is before the Court on the briefs without
Plaintiffs are seamen who were allegedly injured when their
vessel struck a pipeline. The men have filed suit against Chevron,
asserting punitive damages claims.
Chevron did not employ these
Chevron moves to dismiss these punitive damages claims
pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure
Scarborough v. Clemco Industries, 391 F.3d 660 (5th Cir. 2004).
Plaintiffs contend that the issue of whether punitive damages
are available to seamen as a remedy for general maritime law claims
is currently before the Fifth Circuit en banc in McBride v. Estis
Well Service, LLC, Fifth Circuit Docket No. 12–30714.
the direct issue of whether Jones Act seamen may recover punitive
damages against non-employers is also before the Fifth Circuit in
Lorenzo Williams, et al. v. Linder Oil Company, et al., Fifth
Circuit Docket No. 13-30805.
On February 27, 2014, The Fifth
Circuit cancelled oral argument in Williams due to the case being
placed in abeyance pending the Court's en banc decision in McBride.
Plaintiffs request that this Court delay its decision on the
instant motion until the Fifth Circuit has issued its ruling in
A bench trial in the instant matter is set to commence on
April 27, 2015.
Since the trial date is nine months away, the
Court sees no reason to rush its decision on the issue before it.
The Court declines to rule on this issue at this time in light of
the possibility of forthcoming guidance from the Fifth Circuit.
IT IS ORDERED that Chevron's Motion to Dismiss Punitive
Chevron may re-file its motion after the Fifth Circuit issues its
ruling in McBride.
July 29, 2014
JAY C. ZAINEY
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
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