Presumption of Negligence Not Applicable

Defendant’s pipe tank broke loose from its mooring to a crane barge and struck a recreational fishing boat, causing injury to Plaintiffs.  Plaintiffs filed a Partial Motion for Summary Judgment on the presumption of negligence.  The Motion was based upon the rule set forth in The Louisiana, 70 U.S. 164 (1865), which imposes a presumption of fault on a vessel that breaks free from its moorings and drifts into a stationary object.  The court found that because the fishing boat was in motion, it did not constitute a “stationary object” and that the presumption therefore did not apply.  Nonetheless, the court stated that the pipe tank would face a considerable challenge in establishing that it was not negligent in a manner that was a proximate cause of the collision.

Nassri v. Inland Dredging Co., 2013 WL 166211 (M.D. La. 2013).

Beth Bernstein

Beth Bernstein

Beth Bernstein is an associate at Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett. She specializes in all matters arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act and the War Hazards Compensation Act. Beth can be contacted at (504) 595-3000 or by e-mail at bbernstein@mblb.com.
Beth Bernstein