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GASPARD v. OFFSHORE CRANE & EQUIP.

February 14, 1996

RAYMOND GASPARD ET AL. VERSUS OFFSHORE CRANE AND EQUIPMENT ET AL.


The opinion of the court was delivered by: BERRIGAN

 Defendant Anglo-American Insurance Company, Ltd. ("Anglo-American) has moved for summary judgment dismissing the third-party demand of Chevron U.S.A. Inc. ("Chevron"). For the reasons set forth below, the motion is GRANTED.

 BACKGROUND

 This litigation arises from a serious injury suffered by Raymond Gaspard. Gaspard was working as a roughneck for Nabors Drilling U.S.A., Inc. ("Nabors"). Chevron had hired Nabors to perform workover services on a Chevron platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Chevron had also entered into a Blanket Time Charter with Seacor Marine, Inc. ("Seacor") under which Seacor's vessel, the M/V LONG ISLAND, was used to transport cargo to the platform. The M/V LONG ISLAND was tied to the platform when Gaspard and others were sent down to the vessel to assist in the offloading of drill collars. The workers were to rig a sling from Nabors' crane located on the platform to the drill collars. For reasons that have yet to be determined, the fast line of the crane was activated, pulling the line and the headache ball up to the crane's sheave, causing the line to break. The line and headache ball fell on Gaspard, amputating both of his legs.

 Gaspard brought suit against the manufacturers and inspectors of the crane, as well as Seacor and Chevron. He subsequently voluntarily dismissed Seacor. Gaspard's specific allegations against Chevron relate only to the operation of the crane and the platform, not to the operation of the Seacor vessel. His complaint alleges that Chevron is at fault for:

 
a. Failing to inspect the crane in question in accordance with its own crane safety program.
 
b. Improper or negligent inspection of the crane and anti-two block system [a safety device on the crane]; [and]
 
c. Having custody and control of a defective and unsafe crane. . . .

 Amended Complaint, P 12. The complaint further alleges that:

 
Platform B, including the workover rig and the Unit Mariner Crane 10,000, constituted a "building" or other immovable under circumstances in which the fall of the headache ball and the failure of the anti-two blocking device and other facts of the accident constitute a "ruin" cause by vices in its construction, an improper design, and/or failure to repair it, all within the meaning of La. Civ. Code Art. 2322, so as to make defendant, Chevron, responsible for the loss and damage caused to petitioners.

 Id. P 13. *fn1"

 Pursuant to an indemnity provision in the parties' time charter, Chevron filed a crossclaim against Seacor. The time charter requires Seacor to indemnify Chevron for any liability:

 
arising out of or in anyway directly or indirectly connected with the performance of service under this agreement or the ownership . . . operation . . . loading or unloading of cargo . . . or navigation of the vessel . . . .

 Despite the broad language of the indemnity provision, this court previously ruled that Seacor does not have a duty to indemnify Chevron. Gaspard v. Offshore Crane and Equipment, Inc., 1995 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 4583, No. 94-0261, 1995 WL 144592 (E.D. La. Mar. 31, 1995). Applying Lanasse v. Travelers Ins. Co., 450 F.2d 580 (5th Cir. 1971), cert. denied, 406 U.S. 921 (1972), the court concluded that any liability Chevron may face does not arise from the operation of Seacor's vessel, and that the charter party indemnity agreement does not apply to liability arising from the operation of Chevron's platform.

 Chevron subsequently filed a third-party complaint against Seacor's marine insurer, Anglo-American. The Chevron-Seacor time charter required Seacor to maintain protection and indemnity ("P&I") insurance naming Chevron as an additional assured. Seacor's policy with Anglo-American complies with the time charter, providing P&I coverage for the M/V LONG ISLAND and naming Chevron as an additional ...


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