United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana, Lake Charles Division
R. SUMMERHAYS UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
before the Court is a motion for summary judgment [Doc. No.
30], filed by Defendant Era Helicopters, LLC
("Era"), whereby Defendant seeks dismissal of all
claims brought against it by Plaintiff Jordan Soileau. The
motion is unopposed. For the following reasons, the motion is
a scaffold builder on an offshore platform, brings this suit
for injuries sustained in a workplace accident. Plaintiff
alleges he was injured by a piece of plywood that became
airborne and struck him. According to Plaintiff, the accident
occurred when an Era helicopter began to take off from the
platform, and the helicopter's "rotor wash caused
several pieces of unrestrained plywood to become airborne and
fly in the air," thereby striking Plaintiff. [Doc. No.
20, ¶ 3].
accident in this matter occurred on an artificial structure
attached to the outer continental shelf, the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act ("OCSLA") applies. 28
U.S.C. § 1333(a). "Under OCSLA, federal law
generally applies to such disputes and state law is applied
'only as federal law and then only when not inconsistent
with applicable federal law.'" Tetra Techs.,
Inc. v. Cont'l Ins. Co., 814 F.3d 733, 738
(5th Cir.2016) (quoting Rodrigue v. Aetna Cas.
& Sur. Co., 395 U.S. 352, 356 (1969)). When there
are "gaps in the federal law," OCSLA adopts the law
of the adjacent state - here Louisiana - as surrogate federal
law to the extent the adjacent state's law is applicable
and not inconsistent with OCSLA or other federal laws and
regulations. Id. (quoting Rodrigue at 356).
Thus, in this matter, the Court must look to Louisiana law.
See e.g. Fornah v. Schlumberger Technology
Corp., 737 Fed.Appx. 677, 680 (5th Cir. 2018)
(district court properly applied Louisiana law to offshore
worker's negligence claims).
Louisiana, "[e]very act whatever of man that causes
damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to
repair it." La. C.C. art. 2315(A). Louisiana employs a
"duty-risk analysis" to determine whether to impose
liability. Duncan v. WalMart La., LLC, 863 F.3d 406,
409 (5th Cir. 2017); Lemann v. Essen Lane
Daiquiris, Inc., 923 So.2d 627, 632-33 (La. 2006). Under
this analysis, a plaintiff must show:
[F]irst, that the defendant had a duty to conform his conduct
to a specific standard (duty); second, that the
defendant's conduct failed to conform to the appropriate
standard (breach); third, that the defendant's
substandard conduct was a cause in fact of the plaintiffs
injuries (cause in fact); fourth, that the defendant's
substandard conduct was a legal cause of the plaintiffs
injuries (legal cause); and fifth, that the plaintiff
suffered actual damages (damages).
Duncan, 863 F.3d at 409.
matter, Era argues Plaintiff cannot meet the second element
of his prima facie burden, because Era did not breach the
applicable standard of care. [Doc. No. 30-2 at 5].
Specifically, Era contends there is no dispute that the
helicopter pilots gave notice to platform personnel,
including Plaintiff, when the helicopter was approximately
twenty minutes from arrival on the platform; there is no
dispute that platform personnel issued a "green
deck" to the pilots; there is no dispute that the platform
announced to the platform workers when the helicopter was
live minutes away; and there is no dispute that the
"green deck" was never called off. [Doc. No. 30-2
motion for summary judgment [Doc. No. 30], appearing to be
well-founded in law and fact and being unopposed by
Plaintiff, is hereby GRANTED, and all claims against
Defendant Era Helicopters, LLC are DISMISSED WITH PREJUDICE.
DONE AND SIGNED.
 The deadline for submission of a
memorandum in opposition to the motion for summary judgment
has passed, and no opposition has been received by the Court.
[See Doc. No. 31]. ...