Offshore Sandblaster/Painter was a Jones Act Seaman

Plaintiff worked for a company which performed both onshore and offshore sandblasting and painting.  His employer contracted with a third party to undertake the sandblasting and painting of an offshore platform.  Plaintiff and his crew worked on this project for two-and-a-half months.  During that time, Plaintiff slept and ate on board theM/V Howard McCall, stored equipment on the vessel, and used the vessel as a work platform.  Plaintiff was also injured on the vessel: he fell as he was exiting the wheelhouse.  After a trial, the jury determined that Plaintiff was a Jones Act seaman, and he awarded maintenance and cure totaling $8,580.00 and $9,754.00 respectively.

The first question presented to Louisiana’s Third Circuit was whether Plaintiff was a Jones Act seaman.  As for the legal backdrop, the court simply quoted four (4) pages of the Supreme Court’s decision in Chandris, Inc. v. Latsis, 515 U.S. 347, 368-72 (1995).  From there, the Third Circuit noted that the only evidence presented to the jury regarding Plaintiff’s seaman status was Plaintiff’s testimony.  Taken as a whole, the court found no manifest error in the jury’s finding that Plaintiff was a Jones Act seaman.

Jones v. Howard McCall, Inc., — So. 3d —- (La. App. 3 Cir. 2012).

Jon Robinson
As a Member at Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, Jon Robinson focuses his practice on the representation of employers and carriers in matters arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act, and the War Hazards Compensation Act. He can be contacted at (504) 595-3000 or by e-mail at jrobinson@mblb.com. Follow Jon on Twitter: @MrJonRobinson
Jon Robinson