Parekh v. Argonautica Shipping Investments B.V. et al
ORDER AND REASONS granting 66 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment; granting 67 Motion for Partial Summary Judgment. Signed by Judge Susie Morgan on 1/8/2018. (Reference: 16-13731)(clc)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
EASTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
NAYANA AMBARISH PAREKH,
INVESTMENTS B.V., ET AL.,
SECTION: “E” (3)
Applies to: 16-13731
ORDER AND REASONS
Before the Court are two motions for partial summary judgment by Defendant
Weber Marine, L.L.C. 1 The first motion involves Plaintiff Nayana Ambarish Parekh’s
claim for loss of support in her general maritime wrongful death action and the
computation of Decedent Captain Ambarish Parekh’s work-life expectancy. 2 The second
motion involves Plaintiff’s claim for damages for loss of society on behalf of Captain
Parekh’s adult children and minor grandchildren. 3 The motions are opposed. 4 Defendant
Weber Marine, L.L.C. filed replies to Plaintiff’s oppositions. 5 For the reasons that follow,
the motions are GRANTED.
The complaint alleges that on July 17, 2016, Captain Ambarish Ramnikari Parekh,
a marine cargo surveyor employed by Maritech Commercial, Inc., was scheduled to board
R. Docs. 66 and 67.
R. Doc. 66.
3 R. Doc. 67.
4 R. Doc. 71 and 75.
5 R. Doc. 92 and 94.
the M/V AFRICAN RAPTOR to perform port captaincy survey services while the vessel
was moored in the Mississippi River. 6 While attempting to board the M/V AFRICAN
RAPTOR from the M/V MISS RACHEL, Captain Parekh fell into the river. 7 Captain
Parekh’s body was recovered in the Mississippi River on July 19, 2016, wearing the
uninflated personal flotation device he was wearing when he fell. 8
Nayana Ambarish Parekh, Captain Parekh’s spouse, filed a complaint in this Court
on August 9, 2016, individually and as personal representative of Captain Parekh. 9 In
addition to causes of action for negligence and strict product liability, 10 Plaintiff pursues
a wrongful death action under general maritime law. 11 Plaintiff alleges she “has suffered
loss of consortium, society, and financial support, for which [she] is entitled to
damages[.]” 12 During discovery, Plaintiff clarified that she seeks damages for herself and
on behalf of all Captain Parekh’s beneficiaries, including their adult children Siddharth
Parekh and Sandeep Parekh, and their grandchildren Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha. 13
Defendant Weber filed these motions for partial summary judgment on November
28, 2017. 14 In the first motion, 15 Weber seeks a ruling limiting the Plaintiff’s lost-wages
recovery to “an amount commensurate with the Bureau of Labor Statistics-published
work-life expectancy.” 16 Weber argues the “proper measure of time for assessing lost
future wages is the statistical average for one’s work-life expectancy,” which, based on the
R. Doc. 6 at ¶¶ 5-6.
R. Doc. 6 at ¶ 7.
8 R. Doc. 6 at ¶ 10.
9 R. Doc. 1. Plaintiff filed an amended complaint on September 1, 2016. R. Doc. 6.
10 The Court dismissed Plaintiff’s product liability claim on November 22, 2017. R. Doc. 63.
11 R. Doc. 6 at 6.
13 See R. Doc. 75 at 2 (stating that the list of beneficiaries was produced in response to Defendant Weber
Marine, L.L.C.’s interrogatories).
14 R. Doc. 66, 67.
15 R. Doc. 66.
16 R. Doc. 66-2 at 1.
calculations of Weber’s expert witness, would be an additional 1.72 to 6.8 years beyond
Captain Parekh’s 67th birthday. 17 In response, Plaintiff asserts Captain Parekh would have
continued to work until his natural death, and so Plaintiff is entitled to recover lost wages
consistent with his estimated life expectancy of 84.13 years. 18
In the second motion, 19 Weber seeks a judgment that only Ms. Parekh, as Captain
Parekh’s widow, may recover damages for loss of society. 20 Weber contends damages for
loss of society under general maritime law are available only to the dependent relatives of
maritime employees. Accordingly, Weber asserts that Siddharth, Sandeep, Rajveer,
Moksh, Tara, and Trisha, to the extent they are non-dependent relatives of Captain
Parekh, are not entitled to loss-of-society damages. 21
Summary judgment is appropriate only “if the movant shows that there is no
genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter
of law.” 22 “An issue is material if its resolution could affect the outcome of the action.” 23
When assessing whether a material factual dispute exists, the Court considers “all of the
evidence in the record but refrains from making credibility determinations or weighing
the evidence.” 24 All reasonable inferences are drawn in favor of the nonmoving party. 25
There is no genuine issue of material fact if, even viewing the evidence in the light most
R. Doc. 66-6 at 2-5.
R. Doc. 71-1.
19 R. Doc. 67.
20 Id. at 6.
21 Id. at 3-5.
22 FED. R. CIV. P. 56; see also Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S. 317, 322–23 (1986).
23 DIRECTV Inc. v. Robson, 420 F.3d 532, 536 (5th Cir. 2005).
24 Delta & Pine Land Co. v. Nationwide Agribusiness Ins. Co., 530 F.3d 395, 398 (5th Cir. 2008); see also
Reeves v. Sanderson Plumbing Prods., Inc., 530 U.S. 133, 150–51 (2000).
25 Little v. Liquid Air Corp., 37 F.3d 1069, 1075 (5th Cir. 1994).
favorable to the nonmoving party, no reasonable trier of fact could find for the nonmoving
party, thus entitling the moving party to judgment as a matter of law. 26
If the dispositive issue is one on which the moving party will bear the burden of
persuasion at trial, the moving party “must come forward with evidence which would
‘entitle it to a directed verdict if the evidence went uncontroverted at trial.’” 27 If the
moving party fails to carry this burden, the motion must be denied. If the moving party
successfully carries this burden, the burden of production then shifts to the nonmoving
party to direct the Court’s attention to something in the pleadings or other evidence in the
record setting forth specific facts sufficient to establish that a genuine issue of material
fact does indeed exist. 28
If the dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will bear the burden
of persuasion at trial, the moving party may satisfy its burden of production by either (1)
submitting affirmative evidence that negates an essential element of the nonmovant’s
claim, or (2) demonstrating there is no evidence in the record to establish an essential
element of the nonmovant’s claim. 29 When proceeding under the first option, if the
nonmoving party cannot muster sufficient evidence to dispute the movant’s contention
that there are no disputed facts, a trial would be useless, and the moving party is entitled
Smith v. Amedisys, Inc., 298 F.3d 434, 440 (5th Cir. 2002).
Int’l Shortstop, Inc. v. Rally’s, Inc., 939 F.2d 1257, 1263–64 (5th Cir. 1991) (quoting Golden Rule Ins. Co.
v. Lease, 755 F. Supp. 948, 951 (D. Colo. 1991)).
28 Celotex, 477 U.S. at 322–24.
29 Id. at 331–32 (Brennan, J., dissenting); see also St. Amant v. Benoit, 806 F.2d 1294, 1297 (5th Cir. 1987)
(citing Justice Brennan’s statement of the summary judgment standard in Celotex Corp. v. Catrett, 477 U.S.
317, 322–24 (1986), and requiring the movants to submit affirmative evidence to negate an essential
element of the nonmovant’s claim or, alternatively, demonstrate the nonmovant’s evidence is insufficient
to establish an essential element); Fano v. O’Neill, 806 F.2d 1262, 1266 (citing Justice Brennan’s dissent in
Celotex, and requiring the movant to make an affirmative presentation to negate the nonmovant’s claims
on summary judgment); 10A CHARLES ALAN WRIGHT, ARTHUR R. MILLER & MARY KAY KANE, FEDERAL
PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE §2727.1 (2016) (“Although the Court issued a five-to-four decision, the majority
and dissent both agreed as to how the summary-judgment burden of proof operates; they disagreed as to
how the standard was applied to the facts of the case.” (internal citations omitted)).
to summary judgment as a matter of law. 30 When, however, the movant is proceeding
under the second option and is seeking summary judgment on the ground that the
nonmovant has no evidence to establish an essential element of the claim, the nonmoving
party may defeat a motion for summary judgment by “calling the Court’s attention to
supporting evidence already in the record that was overlooked or ignored by the moving
party.” 31 Under either scenario, the burden then shifts back to the movant to demonstrate
the inadequacy of the evidence relied upon by the nonmovant. 32 If the movant meets this
burden, “the burden of production shifts [back again] to the nonmoving party, who must
either (1) rehabilitate the evidence attacked in the moving party’s papers, (2) produce
additional evidence showing the existence of a genuine issue for trial as provided in Rule
56(e), or (3) submit an affidavit explaining why further discovery is necessary as provided
in Rule 56(f).” 33 “Summary judgment should be granted if the nonmoving party fails to
respond in one or more of these ways, or if, after the nonmoving party responds, the court
determines that the moving party has met its ultimate burden of persuading the court that
there is no genuine issue of material fact for trial.” 34
“[U]nsubstantiated assertions are not competent summary judgment evidence.
The party opposing summary judgment is required to identify specific evidence in the
record and to articulate the precise manner in which that evidence supports the claim.
First National Bank of Arizona v. Cities Service Co., 391 U.S. 253, 288–89 (1980); Anderson v. Liberty
Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 249–50 (1986).
31 Celotex, 477 U.S. at 332–33.
33 Celotex, 477 U.S. at 332–33, 333 n.3.
34 Id.; see also First National Bank of Arizona, 391 U.S at 289.
‘Rule 56 does not impose upon the district court a duty to sift through the record in search
of evidence to support a party’s opposition to summary judgment.’” 35
LAW AND ANALYSIS
Loss of Support
Plaintiff asserts a wrongful death claim under general maritime law. 36 In addition
to damages for loss of consortium and society, she seeks recovery for the loss of financial
support provided by Captain Parekh. 37 In calculating these damages, Plaintiff argues that
Captain Parekh intended to work until he died, and as a result the loss-of-support
damages should be based on his life expectancy. According to Plaintiff’s expert, Dr. Robert
F. Hebert, Captain Parekh’s life expectancy was 84.13 years. 38
A damages award for future lost wages is generally based upon the maritime
employee’s work-life expectancy—the “average number of years that a person of a certain
age will both live and work.” 39 Courts use work-life expectancy data to calculate future
earnings unless there is evidence supporting a variation from the average. 40 This evidence
must be more than mere conclusory assertions regarding the decedent’s intentions to
work late into life, however. 41 In Barto v. Shore Const., L.L.C, for example, the Fifth
Circuit reversed a district court decision to allow an above-average work-life expectancy
calculation based only on the plaintiff’s testimony that he planned to work until he could
35 Ragas v. Tenn. Gas Pipeline Co., 136 F.3d 455, 458 (5th Cir. 1998) (citing Celotex, 477 U.S. at 324;
Forsyth v. Barr, 19 F.3d 1527, 1537 (5th Cir. 1994) and quoting Skotak v. Tenneco Resins, Inc., 953 F.2d
909, 915–16 & n.7 (5th Cir. 1992)).
36 R. Doc. 6.
37 See R. Doc. 6 at 6.
38 R. Doc. 71-1.
39 Barto v. Shore Const., L.L.C., 801 F.3d 465, 475 (5th Cir. 2015) (quoting Madore v. Ingram Tank Ships,
Inc., 732 F.2d 475, 478 (5th Cir. 1984).
40 Deperrodil v. Bozovic Marine, Inc., 842 F.3d 352, 361 (5th Cir. 2016).
retire, “[w]hatever the retirement age is.” 42 The Fifth Circuit stated that although a stated
retirement goal may be relevant, “even if the district court believed [the plaintiff] wanted
to work until age 67, wanting to work until age 67 is not the only or even the most
significant factor in determining whether someone actually will work until age 67.”43
Looking to its holding in Madore v. Ingram Tank Ships, Inc., the Fifth Circuit reiterated
that, in order to claim loss-of-support damages beyond the average work-life expectancy,
the plaintiff must provide “evidence that a particular person, by virtue of his health or
occupation or other factors, is likely to live and work a longer, or shorter, period than the
The Fifth Circuit subsequently clarified the nature of the evidence necessary to
meet the Madore standard. 45 In Deperrodil v. Bozovic Marine, Inc., the court affirmed
the district court’s determination that a higher-than-average work-life estimate was
warranted, because the plaintiff “fully developed the evidentiary basis for such a
departure.” 46 The plaintiff had employed a vocational-rehabilitation expert and disclosed
the medical history on which the expert based her opinion. In Deperrodil, as in Barto, the
plaintiff had stated a retirement goal. 47 Unlike Barto, however, the goal was corroborated
by an agreement between the plaintiff and his spouse, and a vocational counselor testified
it was a reasonable goal, considering the plaintiff’s medical history, work history, and
future medical prognosis. 48
Barto, 801 F.3d at 475.
45 Deperrodil v. Bozovic Marine, Inc., 842 F.3d 352, 361 (5th Cir. 2016).
46 Id. at 362.
In its motion for partial summary judgment, Weber asserts that Plaintiff has failed
to identify evidence that will be introduced at trial sufficient to meet the Madore
standard. 49 Weber presents undisputed facts that plaintiffs have not presented any expert
testimony from a vocational counselor, expert in rehabilitation, or medical doctor who
will testify that Captain Parekh was capable of continuing in his line of work for another
seventeen years. 50
In response, Plaintiff provided an affidavit supporting her claim that Captain
Parekh could have worked longer than the statistical average for work-life expectancy.
According to Plaintiff’s affidavit, Captain Parekh “had no plans to retire and intended to
work for the rest of his life.” 51 Plaintiff also provided the deposition of Captain Parekh’s
employer, Chander Gorowara, who, when asked about how long Captain Parekh intended
to work, testified, “Forever. Until the legs give out. We used to talk about this quite often.
Here we have an office pool for the lottery. We used to say, one day, my fantasy is [that]
we win the Mega Millions and all of us will retire. And he used to say, no, not me, you can
hand over the keys to me and I will continue.” 52 Gorowara further testified that Captain
Parekh was physical fit for his age, and fully expected him to continue working
indefinitely, stating, “Physically, he was fit. Mentally, he was strong, and to me, as a
business owner, he was very dependable. Until he could not work, he would have
The Court finds, even weighing all evidence in favor of Plaintiff, that she has not
created a genuine dispute of material fact regarding Captain Parekh’s capability of
R. Doc. 66-2 at 2.
R. Doc. 66-3 at ¶¶ 6-7. R. Doc. 71-6 at ¶¶ 6-7.
51 R. Doc. 71-2 at ¶ 14.
52 R. Doc. 71-5 at 4.
53 R. Doc. 71-5 at 5.
working longer than his statistical work-life average. Under Madore, Plaintiff must
provide “evidence that a particular person, by virtue of his health or occupation or other
factors, is likely to live and work a longer, or shorter, period than the average.” 54 None of
Plaintiff’s evidence does so. First, Plaintiff’s self-serving affidavit is not persuasive
summary judgment evidence. 55 The Fifth Circuit rejects attempts to defeat summary
judgment by the submission of self-serving affidavits and testimony. 56 Second, the
deposition testimony of Mr. Gorowara, while it may corroborate Plaintiff’s assertions of
Captain Parekh’s desire to work, fails to show how either Captain Parekh’s medical
condition or the nature of his employment makes it likely he would work longer than the
average. For example, Mr. Gorowara does not explain how Captain Parekh could have
continued as a marine surveyor—an obviously rigorous line of work—into his mid-80s.
Similar to the plaintiff in Barto, Captain Parekh was employed in a highly dangerous,
physically demanding field. As the Fifth Circuit stated, an employee in such a field “might
have become disabled before [his intended retirement] as a result of illness or some other
misadventure. . . . [Plaintiff] presented no evidence that such events were particularly
unlikely given his health or other factors.” 57 In this case, Plaintiff has likewise failed to
provide evidence that “such events were particularly unlikely” to occur with respect to
Captain Parekh. 58
Madore v. Ingram Tank Ships, Inc. 732 F.2d 475, 478 (1984).
See Guldin v. Conoco, Inc., 37 Fed. Appx. 712 (5th Cir. 2002) (“Guldin offers only his own self-serving
and conclusory affidavit . . . [t]he district court correctly concluded that Guldin’s affidavit was no bar to
entry of summary judgment.”).
56 See, e.g., BMG Music v. Martinez, 74 F.3d 87, 91 (5th Cir. 1996); Cenac Marine Services, LLC v. Clark,
2017 WL 1511760 (E.D. La. Apr. 7, 2017).
57 Barto v. Shore Const., LLC, 801 F.3d 465, 475 (5th Cir. 2015).
Further, while Mr. Gorowara, as Captain Parekh’s employer, may have an
understanding of Captain Parekh’s work habits and employment history, he is not a
vocational or medical professional. Therefore, he is unable to give expert testimony as to
Captain Parekh’s medical condition and physical fitness for continued service in an
extremely hazardous profession. Without expert testimony, medical records, or other
valid summary judgment evidence to describe the state of Captain Parekh’s health and
the nature of his duties, Plaintiff’s submissions do not amount to more than the assertion
that Captain Parekh “had no plans to retire and intended to work for the rest of his life.”
This does not “fully develop the evidentiary basis for [a] departure” from the work-life
expectancy average. 59
Although under Deperrodil the Fifth Circuit does not mandate that Plaintiff hire a
vocational rehabitation expert in order to meet the Madore standard, Plaintiff must
provide evidence that explains why Captain Parekh was “likely to live and work  longer”
than the statistical average. The Court finds Plaintiff has failed to create a genuine dispute
of material fact with regard to Captain Parekh’s likelihood of working longer than the
average work-life expectancy. Defendant is entitled to a ruling that Plaintiff may only
recover loss of support damages consistent with average work-life expectancy.
Loss of Society
In Plaintiff’s general maritime wrongful death action, Plaintiff claims damages for
loss of society for herself and Captain Parekh’s beneficiaries. According to Plaintiff, these
beneficiaries include Captain Parekh’s adult sons Siddharth and Sandeep, and his four
grandchildren, Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha.
Deperrodil v. Bozovic Marine, Inc., 842 F.3d 352, 362 (5th Cir. 2016).
The Supreme Court in Moragne v. States Marine Line, Inc. 60 recognized the
existence of a wrongful death claim under general maritime law for a widow of a
longshoreman killed while working aboard a vessel in state territorial waters. 61 The Court
subsequently held in Sea-Land Services Inc. v. Gaudet 62 that the maritime wrongful
death action allowed “the decedent’s dependents [to] recover damages for their loss of
support, services, and society, and funeral expenses.” 63 In interpreting the scope of
damages recoverable under a Moragne wrongful death action, the Fifth Circuit Court held
in Miles v. Melrose64 that a mother of a seaman who had died in territorial waters was not
entitled to damages for loss of society because she was not dependent on the decedent. 65
The Supreme Court affirmed, but on the grounds that because the decedent was a Jones
Act seaman, recovery for loss of society in a general maritime action would not be
The Supreme Court has not addressed recovery for loss of society in general
maritime actions since Miles, but the Fifth Circuit later held in In re American River
Transp. Co. that non-dependent survivors of a deceased longshoreman or harborworker
may not recover for loss of society. 67 Although the Fifth Circuit found the distinction
between dependent and non-dependent survivors “is not explicitly required by the
relevant statutes or Supreme Court precedent,” recovery by non-dependent survivors
398 U.S. 375 (1970).
Id. The Supreme Court later extended the general maritime law wrongful death action for a maritime
employee killed in state waters to include an action for negligence. Garris, 532 U.S. at 818–19.
62 414 U.S. 573 (1974).
63 Id. at 584.
64 882 F.2d 976 (5th Cir. 1989).
65 Id. at 21-22.
66 Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19 (1990).
67 In re American River Transp. Co., 490 F.3d 351 (5th Cir. 2007).
(1) impede uniformity by going against the substantial majority of the
federal court decisions on this issue, and (2) create an anomaly by
expanding the class of beneficiaries of nonseamen who may recover for loss
of society in the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s denial [in Miles] of any
such recovery to the beneficiaries of seaman. 68
Accordingly, the Fifth Circuit concluded that “non-dependent [beneficiaries] of a
longshoreman who died in territorial waters are not entitled to recover damages for loss
of society.” 69 “Dependency,” for the purposes of general maritime wrongful death claims,
carries its “ordinary meaning” of financial dependency. 70 An adult child may be
dependent on his or her parent, 71 just as a parent may be dependent on a minor child. 72
Defendant Weber seeks summary judgment that Plaintiff may seek only recovery
for her loss of support on the grounds that Captain Parekh’s children Siddarth and
Sandeep, and his grandchildren Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha, are not his
dependents. 73 Weber puts forward the following undisputed facts. Captain Parekh has
three adult children: Siddarth Parekh, 40 years old; Prerna Girdhar, 38 years old; and
Sandeep Parekh, 35 years old. 74 Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha Parekh are Captain
Parekh’s grandchildren. 75 Siddarth and Sandeep contribute to a joint account utilized by
the entire household. 76 Captain Parekh’s tax returns from 2011 to 2015 do not list any of
his children or grandchildren as dependents. 77
Id. at 359 (citations omitted).
Id. at 360. Although the facts of In re American River Transp. Co. involved non-dependent parents,
rather than non-dependent children, other district courts in this Circuit have generalized the Fifth Circuit’s
holding to apply to “survivors of a deceased worker covered by the LHWCA who were not financially
dependent on the deceased.” Hopper v. M/V UBC Singapore, 2010 WL 2977296 at *2 (S.D. Tex. July 20,
70 Neal v. Barisich, Inc., 707 F.Supp. 862 (E.D.La. 1989).
71 See Solomon v. Warren, 540 F.2d 777 (5th Cir. 1976) (affirming to an adult child for loss of support).
72 Complaint of Patton-Tully Transp. Co., 797 F.2d 206, 213 (5th Cir. 1986).
73 R. Doc. 67-2 at 6.
74 R. Doc. 67-3 at ¶ 4. R. Doc. 75-5 at ¶ 4. Plaintiff does not seek damages for Prerna Girdhar.
75 R. Doc. 67-3 at ¶ 5. R. Doc. 75-5 at ¶ 6.
76 R. Doc. 67-3 at ¶ 9. R. Doc. 75-5 at ¶ 9. Plaintiff disputes that there is evidence showing that Siddharth
and Sandeep are employed full-time. R. Doc. 75-5 at ¶ 9.
77 R. Doc. 67-3 at ¶ 8. R. Doc. 75-5 at ¶ 8.
Plaintiff disputes whether Siddarth, Sandeep, Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha
are financially dependent on Captain Parekh. According to testimony by Siddharth and
Sandeep and an affidavit by the Plaintiff, the entire family lived in the same house in
LaPlace, Louisiana, 78 and shared a communal bank account into which they all
contributed that was used for jointly paying bills and expenses. 79 Plaintiff’s affidavit states
that Captain Parekh “monetarily supported everyone who lived in the house,” and “was
the primary source of monetary support for everyone living in the house.” 80 Captain
Parekh “deposited the vast majority of funds into the shared Chase Bank account.” 81
Sandeep testified that he, his wife, his children, his brother, and his brother’s wife and
children, all lived in the house in LaPlace. 82 Sandeep and Siddharth further testified that
everyone in the extended family paid into a single checking account which is used for dayto-day expenses. 83
The Court finds Plaintiff’s affidavit and the deposition testimony of Captain
Parekh’s sons are insufficient to create a genuine issue of material fact. The Fifth Circuit
rejects the use of self-serving affidavits and testimony to defeat summary judgment. 84 Of
course, it is well-established that a party’s verified answers to interrogatories may serve
as support or rebuttal of a motion for summary judgment, 85 and a party’s own sworn
affidavits can serve to create a genuine issue of material fact sufficient to defeat a motion
See R. Doc. 102-2 at 8 (Deposition of Siddarth Parekh); R. Doc. 102-4 at 5 (Deposition of Sandeep
Parekh); R. Doc. 102-3 at 1-2 (Affidavit of Nayana Parekh).
79 See R. Doc. 102-2 at 57-58; R. Doc. 102-4 at 6; R. Doc. 102-3 at 1.
80 R. Doc. 102-3 at 2.
81 R. Doc. 75-3 at ¶ 13.
82 R. Doc. 75-4 at 4.
83 R. Doc. 75-4 at 5. R. Doc. 75-2 at 9.
84 See, e.g., BMG Music v. Martinez, 74 F.3d 87, 91 (5th Cir. 1996); Cenac Marine Services, LLC v. Clark,
2017 WL 1511760 (E.D. La. Apr. 7, 2017).
85 See Fowler v. Southern Bell Telephone & Telegraph Co., 343 F.2d 150, 154 (5th Cir. 1965).
for summary judgment. 86 However, a non-moving party must come forward with more
than “conclusory allegations, speculation, and unsubstantiated assertions.” 87 In this case,
Plaintiff’s affidavit is wholly conclusory, stating only that Captain Parekh “monetarily
supported everyone who lived in the house,” and “was the primary source of monetary
support for everyone living in the house,” 88 without providing any factual basis for
support. Further, the testimony of Sandeep and Siddharth Parekh is immaterial to the
issue of financial dependency. The sons simply describe the family’s living arrangement,
and do not testify regarding their or their children’s financial dependency on Captain
Plaintiff has not provided any evidence beyond her own self-serving affidavit and
the testimony of the potential beneficiaries. While Plaintiff avers that “abundant
uncontested evidence [exists] that Siddharth and his children, and Sandeep and his
children, were financially dependent upon Decedent under applicable law,” 89 Plaintiff has
not produced any bank statements, tax returns, pay stubs, or the like, that would establish
financial dependency between Captain Parekh and his adult children and their progeny.
Plaintiff has failed to create a genuine dispute of material fact as to whether
Siddharth, Sandeep, Rajveer, Moksh, Tara, and Trisha Parekh are financial dependents
of Captain Parekh. Weber is entitled to a judgment that only Plaintiff Nayana Ambarish
Parekh may seek damages for loss of society in her general maritime wrongful death
See, e.g., Dibidale of La., Inc. v. American Bank & Trust Co., 916 F.2d 300, 307-308 (5th Cir. 1990).
Douglass v. United Services Auto Ass’n, 79 F.3d 1415, 1430 (5th Cir. 1996).
88 R. Doc. 102-3 at 2.
89 R. Doc. 75 at 8.
IT IS ORDERED that Defendant Weber Marine, L.L.C.’s motions for partial
summary judgment 90 are GRANTED.
New Orleans, Louisiana, this 8th day of January, 2018.
UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE
R. Docs. 66 and 67.
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