The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana recently issued an interesting decision applying the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act’s borrowed servant doctrine. The plaintiff was injured on a tension leg platform on the outer continental shelf when another worker dropped a piece of equipment on his back. Plaintiff sued his employer (BP) as well as the other worker’s employer (Danos and Curole).
The parties ultimately agreed that the LHWCA applied by virtue of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act and BP was eventually dismissed as plaintiff’s employer. Danos and Curole filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing plaintiff had no cause of action because its employee was acting as a borrowed servant of BP at the time of the incident. If plaintiff’s coworker was acting as a borrowed employee of his own employer, BP, the LHWCA prevented him from suing his coworker for negligence and he therefore had no cause of action for vicarious liability against Danos and Curole.
The Court applied the Fifth Circuit’s nine factor test for the borrowed servant doctrine. After finding that the vast majority of the evidence weighed in favor of plaintiff’s coworker being a borrowed servant of BP, the Court held that plaintiff had no cause of action against Danos and Curole for vicarious liability and dismissed all claims.
Crawford v. BP Corporation North America, Inc.