United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana
ORDER AND REASONS
ZAINEY UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
following motions are before the Court:
for Reconsideration (Rec. Doc. 99) filed by plaintiff Shore
Offshore Services, LLC; Motion to Seal (Rec. Doc. 100) filed
by plaintiff Shore Offshore Services, LLC; Motion to Strike
Expert Designations (Rec. Doc. 104) filed by plaintiff Shore
Offshore Services, LLC;
for Leave to File Opposition (Rec. Doc. 108) filed by
defendant/counterclaimant/third-party plaintiff JAB Energy
Solutions II, LLC.
the exception of the motion to seal, all motions are opposed.
motions, submitted for consideration on January 23, 2019, are
before the Court on the briefs without oral
Offshore Services, LLC filed suit against JAB Energy
Solutions II, LLC seeking to recover for unpaid invoices
totaling $338, 814.48 (Rec. Doc. 1, Complaint ¶ 29), and
for time and materials costs of $1, 074, 830.43 that Shore
incurred until JAB formally terminated the parties'
contractual relationship (Complaint ¶¶ 40-41).
Shore is in the business of decommissioning offshore oil and
gas platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Shore has at its
disposal large derrick barges with heavy lift cranes that
lift component parts of the platform and the platform itself
to load those items onto material barges. (Rec. Doc. 71-1,
Memo in Support at 2). Shore explains that it contracts to
perform this work in two ways: 1) by contracting directly
with the oil company that owns or operates a platform to be
decommissioned, or 2) by chartering one of its derrick barges
to another company which has in turn contracted with the oil
company that owns or operates the platform to be
decommissioned. (Id.). The work that Shore was
performing for JAB in this instance is of the second type:
JAB had contracted with an offshore platform operator, Black
Elk Energy, to decommission certain of its platforms in the
Gulf of Mexico in 2017, and required Shore's services,
vessel, and equipment to carry out the job.
to Shore, the parties' contractual relationship is
defined by a July 2017 Master Services Agreement
(“MSA”) and Work Order, both of which are
governed by general maritime law. (Complaint ¶ 6). The
MSA and Work Order govern the work made subject of the
invoices that JAB has not paid and for which Shore has filed
suit. (Rec. Doc. 71-1, Memo in Support at 3). Shore complains
that JAB has refused to pay the outstanding invoice amounts
based on the contention that Shore breached its contract with
JAB thereby obviating JAB's obligation to pay for
services rendered. (Rec. Doc. 71-1, Memo in Support at 1).
Shore characterizes the “dispute” as centering
upon an incident with the DB PACIFIC when decommissioning a
platform in the Vermillion 119 block. The incident occurred
on October 10, 2017, when the cabling on the DB PACIFIC
severed and a 920-ton platform jacket fell into the Gulf. The
DB PACIFIC was unable to complete the lift and JAB contracted
with another company to complete the job. (Complaint ¶
23). JAB claims that it cost a significant amount of money to
complete the job that Shore failed to do because of its
contends that neither general maritime law nor the
parties' contract supports JAB's position that it can
resist payment based on the October 10, 2017 incident or any
other alleged breaches, and that judgment as a matter of law
should be granted in favor of Shore in the amount of $1, 413,
filed a motion for partial summary judgment, and on December
21, 2018, the Court issued its Order and Reasons. (Rec. Doc.
94). The Court denied Shore's motion, which essentially
sought an order directing JAB to immediately pay the
outstanding invoices notwithstanding the ongoing dispute as
to the October 10, 2017 incident. The Court did resolve,
however, the parties' dispute over whether maritime law
or Texas law would govern the contractual dispute. Adopting
Shore's position on the issue, the Court concluded that
maritime law would govern. Id. at 4.
trial is scheduled to commence on March 18, ...