United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
GILBERT DAUPHINE, JR.
REC MARINE LOGISTICS, LLC, ET AL.
ORDER AND REASONS
are five motions for summary judgment before the Court.
Defendants and Cross Claimants Shamrock, Energy
and Wood Group moved for summary judgment on their cross
claims against REC Marine Logistics, LLC for defense,
indemnity, and insurance coverage. Rec. Docs. 72, 74, 85.
Defendant and Cross Defendant REC Marine timely filed an
opposition. Rec. Doc. 91. Defendants and Cross Claimants
Shamrock, Energy XXI, and Wood Group jointly sought, and were
granted, leave to file a reply. Rec. Doc. 99.
and Cross Defendant REC Marine filed a cross motion for
summary judgment on Shamrock's, Energy XXI's, and
Wood Group's cross claims for defense, indemnity, and
insurance coverage. Rec. Doc. 84. Defendants and Cross
Claimants Shamrock, Energy XXI, and Wood Group jointly filed
an opposition. Rec. Doc. 92. Defendant and Cross Defendant
REC Marine sought, and was granted, leave to file a reply.
Rec. Doc. 101.
Gilbert Dauphine filed a motion for summary judgment on the
questions of whether he is a seaman entitled to maintenance
and cure from Defendant and Cross Defendant REC Marine. Rec.
Doc. 95. Defendant and Cross Defendant REC Marine timely
filed an opposition. Rec. Doc. 109. Plaintiff sought, and was
granted, leave to file a reply. Rec. Doc. 114.
reasons discussed below, IT IS ORDERED that
the motions for summary judgment filed by Defendants and
Cross Claimants Shamrock, Energy XXI, and Wood Group (Rec.
Docs. 72, 74, 85) are GRANTED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that the motion for summary
judgment filed by Defendant and Cross Defendant REC Marine
(Rec. Doc. 84) is DENIED.
IS FURTHER ORDERED that Plaintiff's motion for
partial summary judgment (Rec. Doc. 95) is
GRANTED with respect to Plaintiff's
status as a seaman and DENIED with respect
to Plaintiff's demand for cure.
BACKGROUND AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
15, 2010, Energy XXI Services, LLC and REC Marine Logistics,
LLC entered into a Master Time Charter agreement (MTC).
See Rec. Doc. 84-4. The MTC governs how the
Charterer (Energy XXI Services, LLC) can charter a vessel
from the Owner (REC Marine Logistics, LLC). See Id.
at 3. The Charterer is first supposed to request a vessel
from the Owner, in which case the Owner is then supposed to
send a Vessel Charter letter to the Charterer with the terms
of the Charter. See Id. at 3. The sample Vessel
Charter letter, attached as a schedule to the MTC, contains a
clause incorporating the MTC. See Id. at 18. Every
Vessel Charter is supposed to be “substantially
identical” to the sample. See Id. at 3. Unless
the Charterer cancels the Vessel Charter, it is effective
upon receipt by the Charterer. See Id. at 3. Even if
no Vessel Charter is exchanged, the MTC applies when the
Owner delivers a vessel to the Charterer. See Id. at
includes an integration clause stating that the MTC and any
Vessel Charters “contain the entire agreement of
Owner and Charterer.” Id. at 15. When there is
a conflict between the MTC and a Vessel Charter, “the
provisions in the body of [the MTC] shall prevail.”
Id. No amendments are allowed “except in
writing signed by authorized representatives of both Owner
and Charterer.” Id. While the Charterer can
“subcharter or assign” the MTC “and/or any
Vessel Charter[, ]” the Owner must get the
“written consent of [the] Charterer” before
transferring any of its “rights and obligations under
th[e]” MTC. Id. at 13.
also establishes the duties of the Charterer and Owner when a
vessel is chartered. Two are especially important for the
instant litigation. First, the MTC includes reciprocal
defense and indemnity provisions for the Owner and Charterer.
See Id. at 6-11. When applicable, the Owner's
defense and indemnity obligations extend to the
Charterer's affiliates, parent entities, and contractors.
See Id. at 6-9. Second, the MTC requires the Owner
to name, inter alia, the Charterer, its affiliates,
parent entities, and contractors as additional insureds on
its insurance policies. See Id. at 6-7.
2, 2015, REC Marine sent a one-page document titled
“Charter Agreement” to Bubba Richard, an Energy
XXI Services, LLC employee. See Rec. Doc. 84-7. The
Charter Agreement provides for an open-ended charter of the
M/V EMILY D to Energy XXI (the Charter Agreement does not
specify a subsidiary). Id. Bubba Richard, an Energy
XXI Services, LLC employee, signed the Charter Agreement.
Id. The Charter Agreement specifies a daily rate for
the charter and provides instructions for where the EMILY D
was to report, but neither incorporates the MTC nor includes
its own defense and indemnity terms. See Id. Neither
the MTC nor the Charter Agreement were terminated before
Plaintiff's accident occurred. See Rec. Doc.
74-10 at 10, 20. REC Marine billed Energy XXI, not a specific
subsidiary, for the charter of the EMILY D. See,
e.g., Rec. Docs. 74-6 at 7; 74-13 at 7. The invoice was
sent to the address for Energy XXI Services, LLC that is
listed on the first page of the MTC. See Id. Energy
XXI Gulf Coast Inc. paid REC Marine's invoices.
See Rec. Doc. 74-6 at 13.
accident at the heart of the instant lawsuit occurred on
October 9, 2015. At that time, Plaintiff Gilbert Dauphine was
employed by REC Marine Logistics, LLC as a deckhand on the
M/V EMILY D, a vessel owned by REC Marine. Rec. Doc. 1 ¶
6. When the accident occurred, Plaintiff was working on the
EMILY D in the Gulf of Mexico as it serviced production
platform South Pass 57-B, which is owned and operated by
Energy XXI GOM, LLC. Id. ¶ 8; Rec. Doc. 74-14
¶ 4. While the EMILY D was servicing the South Pass 57-B
platform, a personnel basket was lowered or dropped onto
Plaintiff from a crane on the platform. Id. ¶
8. As a result, Plaintiff suffered physical and mental
injuries that allegedly limit his current and future
employment opportunities. Id. ¶¶ 14-17.
Plaintiff further alleges that, as a result of these
injuries, he currently needs back and knee surgery.
See Rec. Doc. 95.
October 7, 2016, Plaintiff brought suit against REC Marine
and three Energy XXI entities (Energy XXI USA, Inc., Energy
XXI Gulf Coast, Inc., and Energy XXI, Ltd.). Rec. Doc. 1.
Plaintiff subsequently amended his complaint to add as
defendants additional Energy XXI entities (Energy XXI GOM,
LLC and Energy XXI Services, LLC) and some of Energy
XXI's contractors (Shamrock Management, LLC, Wood Group
PSN, Inc., and Wood Group Production Services, Inc.). Rec.
Docs. 16, 107. Plaintiff brought negligence and
unseaworthiness claims against REC Marine under the Jones Act
and General Maritime law, seeking damages as well as
maintenance and cure. Rec. Doc. 1 ¶¶ 13-20.
Plaintiff brought negligence claims against Energy XXI,
Shamrock, and Wood Group under General Maritime Law, seeking
damages for his injuries. Rec. Docs. 1 ¶¶ 12,
14-20; 16 ¶¶ IV-V; 107 ¶¶ IV-V.
the MTC, Energy XXI, Shamrock, and Wood Group each filed a
cross claim for defense, indemnity, and insurance coverage
against REC Marine. Rec. Docs. 40, 46, 50. Also, Energy XXI
and Shamrock each filed a third party complaint against
American Steamship Mutual Indemnity and Protection
Association on the basis that the MTC ...