Lewis v. Nereus Shipping et al
NOTICE AND ORDER: With in ten (10) days of the date of this Notice and Order, Plaintiff shall file a memorandum and supporting evidence concerning subject matter jurisdiction as listed. Signed by Magistrate Judge Erin Wilder-Doomes on 5/17/2017. (LLH)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
MIDDLE DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA
NEREUS SHIPPING, ET AL.
NOTICE AND ORDER
On April 7, 2017, plaintiff Darry Lewis filed a Complaint in this Court against Nereus
Shipping and M/V Laconic for personal injuries allegedly sustained while working on a barge.1
In the Complaint, Plaintiff alleges that, “This Court is vested with jurisdiction as the case is
cognizable under the admiralty and maritime laws of the United States and because the amount in
dispute is greater than $75,000.00 and there is complete diversity among the parties.” 2 Plaintiff
further alleges the following:
Darry Lewis was employed by John W Stone Oil Distributor, LLC.
[sic] and assigned to work on a barge at Ama Anchorage in St.
Charles Parish. On or about June 21, 2016, as Darry Lewis was
fueling the M/V Laconic, an employee on the vessel threw his hard
hat down from the vessel striking Darry Lewis in the head, causing
The Complaint contains no additional allegations regarding the Court’s maritime jurisdiction and
contains no allegations regarding the citizenship of the parties or the amount in controversy.
It is not apparent from the face of the Complaint that this Court has subject matter
jurisdiction over this case under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), diversity jurisdiction, or under 28 U.S.C. §
1333(1), admiralty jurisdiction. The Fifth Circuit has held that, “Admiralty jurisdiction of a tort
R. Doc. 1 at ¶ 4.
R. Doc. 1 at ¶ 2.
R. Doc. 1 at ¶ 4.
claim depends on whether the plaintiff can establish a maritime tort. That inquiry is essentially
fact-bound, turning on a determination of the location of the tort, the situs factor, and the pertinent
activity, the nexus factor.” Richendollar v. Diamond M Drilling Co., 819 F.2d 124, 127 (5th Cir.
1987). Thus, the alleged tort must occur on navigable waters and the “wrong [must] bear a
significant relationship to traditional maritime activity.” Id. (quoting Executive Jet Aviation, Inc.
v. City of Cleveland, 409 U.S. 249, 93 S.Ct. 493, 34 L.Ed.2d 454 (1972)). Plaintiff has not
addressed either of the factors required for this Court to exercise admiralty jurisdiction under 28
U.S.C. § 1333(1). Although Defendants have not yet made an appearance in this case, the Court
sua sponte raises the issue of whether it may exercise admiralty jurisdiction in this matter pursuant
to 28 U.S.C. § 1333(1).
Because the face of the Complaint does not establish admiralty jurisdiction, the Court also
requests evaluation by the Plaintiff of whether diversity jurisdiction exists in this case.4
IT IS HEREBY ORDERED that Plaintiff shall file a memorandum and supporting
evidence concerning subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1333(1), admiralty jurisdiction,
specifically addressing whether and how the claims raised in the Complaint satisfy the two-part
test set forth in Richendollar v. Diamond M Drilling Co., 819 F.2d 124 (5th Cir. 1987). The
supplemental memorandum shall also specify whether, in addition to or in lieu of admiralty
jurisdiction, there is diversity jurisdiction. Alternatively, Plaintiff shall file a memorandum and
supporting evidence concerning subject matter jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a), diversity
jurisdiction, which shall properly allege the citizenship of all parties and allege facts to show that
When original jurisdiction is based on diversity of citizenship, the cause of action must be between “citizens of
different States” and the amount in controversy must exceed the “sum or value of $75,000, exclusive of interest and
costs.” 28 U.S.C. § 1332(a)-(a)(1).
the amount in controversy exceeds $75,000 in this case. The supplemental memorandum shall be
limited to ten (10) pages and shall be filed within ten (10) days of the date of this Notice and Order.
Signed in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, on May 17, 2017.
UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
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