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).

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