United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lafayette Division
CONSENT OF THE PARTIES
PATRICK J. HANNA, UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE
pending is defendant Arena Energy, LP's motion for
summary judgment. (Rec. Doc. 113). The motion is unopposed.
Considering the evidence, the law, and the arguments of the
parties, and for the reasons fully explained below, this
Court grants Arena's motion and dismisses the
plaintiff's claim against Arena with prejudice.
October 2013, the plaintiff, Donald Batiste, was employed by
defendant Quality Construction and Production, LLC as a
rigger. He and his crew were working on a construction
project on an offshore platform in the Gulf of Mexico that
was owned and operated by defendant Arena Energy, LP.
Helmerich & Payne International Drilling Company
(“H&P”) was conducting drilling operations on
the platform pursuant to a separate contract with Arena. The
plaintiff claims that he was injured on October 26, 2013
while standing on the deck of a vessel engaged in the task of
backloading the vessel from the platform. He contends that he
gave an “all stop” signal that was ignored by the
H&P crane operator and that the crane operator proceeded
to set a material basket down on a pipe that was laying on
the vessel's deck. In his complaint, the plaintiff
alleged that he was injured when the basket's contact
with the pipe caused him to be flung into the side of the
basket and also caused the pipe to rise up into the air and
strike him in the head.
plaintiff asserted negligence claims against several
defendants, including Arena. In support of its motion, Arena
argued that it is entitled to summary judgment in its favor
because it had no employees on the platform at the time of
the incident and, had no control over the work that was being
conducted by its independent contractors, and was not
The Summary Judgment Standard
Rule 56(a) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, summary
judgment is appropriate when there is no genuine dispute as
to any material fact, and the moving party is entitled to
judgment as a matter of law. A fact is material if proof of
its existence or nonexistence might affect the outcome of the
lawsuit under the applicable governing law. A genuine issue
of material fact exists if a reasonable jury could render a
verdict for the nonmoving party.
party seeking summary judgment has the initial responsibility
of informing the court of the basis for its motion and
identifying those parts of the record that demonstrate the
absence of genuine issues of material fact. If the moving
party carries its initial burden, the burden shifts to the
nonmoving party to demonstrate the existence of a genuine
issue of a material fact. All facts and inferences are construed
in the light most favorable to the nonmoving
dispositive issue is one on which the nonmoving party will
bear the burden of proof at trial, the moving party may
satisfy its burden by pointing out that there is insufficient
proof concerning an essential element of the nonmoving
party's claim. The motion should be granted if the
nonmoving party cannot produce evidence to support an
essential element of its claim.
Louisiana Law governs the claims against
explained in a previous ruling (Rec. Doc. 124 at 8-12),
jurisdiction in this case is premised on the jurisdictional
provision of the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act
(“OCSLA”), and the law of Louisiana, the adjacent
state, governs the plaintiff's claims against Arena.
There is no evidence that Arena Exercised Operational
Control over the Independent Contractors nor ...