United States District Court, W.D. Louisiana
PEGGY MAYS ET AL.
CHEVRON PIPE LINE CO. ET AL.
RULING AND ORDER
A. JACKSON UNITED STATES DISTRICT JUDGE.
the Court are Chevron's Motions for Judgment as a
Matter of Law or New Trial (Docs. 233, 234)
concerning the application of Pac. Operators Offshore,
LLP v. Valladolid, 565 U.S. 207 (2012), and the Outer
Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. §
1333(b), to James Mays's death.
1333(b) of the OCSLA extends the Longshore and Harbor
Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), 33 U.S.C. § 901,
to injuries "occurring as the result of operations
conducted on the outer Continental Shelf[.]" The United
States Supreme Court has interpreted § 1333(b) to
require an employee seeking LHWCA coverage to show a
"substantial nexus" between his injury and his
employer's extractive operations on the outer Continental
Shelf. Valladolid, 565 U.S. at 222.
argues that the Court misapplied the substantial-nexus test
and that Plaintiffs failed to satisfy the test, as
misapplied. These Motions (Docs. 233, 234) lack merit and are
DENIED. Also before the Court is Chevron's Motion for
Remittitur (Doc. 235) of Peggy Mays's damages award. For
the reasons that follow, the Motion (Doc. 235) is GRANTED IN
PART and DENIED IN PART.
dispute arises from a pipeline accident on a drilling
platform in Louisiana territorial waters. (Doc. 1). James
Mays was killed when components of a pressurized valve
dislodged and struck him in the head. (Id.). Members
of his family sued the pipeline operator, Chevron, for
a four-day trial, a jury returned a verdict for Plaintiffs
and against Chevron. (Doc. 222). The jury found Chevron to be
70% at fault and awarded Plaintiffs $2, 942, 549.79.
(Id.). The breakdown was as follows:
• Funeral Expenses - $12, 549.79
• Loss of Support of Peggy Mays - $630, 000
• Loss of Love, Affection, and Consortium of Peggy Mays
- $2, 000, 000
• Loss of Love and Affection of Daphne Lanclos - $100,
• Loss of Love and Affection of Brent Mays - $100, 000
• Loss of Love and Affection of Jared Mays - $100, 000
Court entered judgment on February 8, 2019. (Doc. 225).
Chevron timely renewed its motions for judgment as a matter
of law (Docs. 233, 234) and separately moved for remittitur
of Peggy Mays's damages awards. (Doc. 235).
Renewed Motion for Judgment as a Matter of Law
of judgment as a matter of law is appropriate if Chevron
shows that a reasonable jury would not have a legally
sufficient evidentiary basis to find for Plaintiffs on the
issue. See FED. R. CIV. P. 50(a). In deciding if
Chevron has made that showing, the Court draws reasonable
inferences in the light most favorable to Plaintiffs. See
Alonso v. Westcost Corp.,920 F.3d 878, 882 (5th Cir.
2019). Because the Court's jurisdiction is based on
diversity of citizenship, the Court looks to Louisiana law