Conday v. Offshore Drilling Co
AMENDED REASONS FOR RULING AND AMENDED RULING re 48 MOTION for Partial Summary Judgment filed by Offshore Drilling Co. The courts prior Ruling on the defendants Motion for Partial Summary Judgment document 88 is VACATED. The defendants Motion f or Partial Summary Judgment on plaintiffs claim for punitive damages for failure to promptly pay maintenance and cure document 48 is DENIED as the Offshore Drilling Company is not entitled to partial summary judgment as a matter of law. Signed by Magistrate Judge C Michael Hill on 10/7/2009. (crt,Reasor, M)
UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT WESTERN DISTRICT OF LOUISIANA GREGORY CONDAY VERSUS THE OFFSHORE DRILLING COMPANY
CIVIL NO. 07-cv-0882 MAGISTRATE JUDGE HILL BY CONSENT OF THE PARTIES
AMENDED REASONS FOR RULING AND AMENDED RULING Relying on the Fifth Circuit's decision in Guevara v. Maritime Overseas Corp., 59 F.3d 1496
Cir. 1995), the Offshore Drilling Company seeks Partial Summary Judgment on
plaintiff's claim for punitive damages for failure to promptly pay maintenance and cure. [rec. doc. 48]. The plaintiff, Gregory Conday, has filed opposition. [rec. doc. 61]. On June 25, 2009, the Supreme Court abrogated the Guevara decision holding that a seaman is entitled, as a matter of general maritime law, to seek punitive damages for his employer's alleged willful and wanton disregard of its maintenance and cure obligation. Atlantic Sounding Co.,Inc. v. Townsend,
129 S.Ct. 2561 (2009). In so holding, the
Court found that punitive damages have long been an accepted remedy under general maritime law, and that neitherMiles v. Apex Marine Corp., 498 U.S. 19, 111 S.Ct. 317, 112 L.Ed.2d 275, nor the Jones Act altered this understanding; thus, punitive damages for the willful and wanton disregard of the maintenance and cure obligation remain available as a matter of general maritime law. Accordingly, The court's prior Ruling on the defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment [rec. doc. 88] is vacated.
The defendant's Motion for Partial Summary Judgment on plaintiff's claim for punitive damages for failure to promptly pay maintenance and cure [rec. doc. 48] is DENIED as the Offshore Drilling Company is not entitled to partial summary judgment as a matter of law. Signed this
day of October, 2009, Lafayette, Louisiana.
C. MICIIAEI. HILl.. UNITEL) STATES MAOISIRAIE JUDGE
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