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Angelle v. Spartan Offshore Drilling LLC

United States District Court, E.D. Louisiana

July 31, 2019

PETER ANGELLE
v.
SPARTAN OFFSHORE DRILLING LLC

         SECTION "L" (2)

          ORDER & REASONS

         Before the Court is Plaintiff Peter Angelle's motion seeking to exclude the opinions of Defense expert Kerry P. Redmann, Jr. R. Doc. 53. Defendant Spartan Offshore Drilling, LLC (“Spartan”) opposes the motion. R. Doc. 56. Plaintiff has filed a reply. R. Doc. 61. The Court now rules as follows.

         I. BACKGROUND

         This maritime personal injury case arises from injuries Plaintiff Peter Angelle allegedly sustained while aboard the SPARTAN 208, a jack-up drilling vessel owned, operated, and controlled by Defendant Spartan Offshore Drilling, LLC (“Spartan”). R. Doc. 22 at ¶ 3.[1] Plaintiff asserts that on or about July 18, 2017, while checking the filtration unit on the vessel, he “tripped on a packer stem sticking out of a pallet stowed near the filter unit . . . . fell forward into a hand rail, lost his footing and fell to the vessel deck.” Id. at ¶¶ 5-6. Plaintiff claims the incident caused injuries to his lumbar and cervical spine, right shoulder and connective joints, tissues, and nerves, which require medical care, treatment, and surgery. Id. at ¶ 7.

         Plaintiff asserts his injuries were caused by Spartan's negligent “fail[ure] to act with due care under the circumstances, ” “fail[ure] to provide plaintiff with a safe work place free of unreasonably dangerous hazards aboard its vessel, ” and “the vessel negligence of the SPARTAN 208.” Id. at ¶ 8. Due to Spartan's alleged negligence, Plaintiff seeks “damages for past, present and future physical and emotional pain and suffering, permanent physical disability and scarring, past and future medical expenses, loss of wages and wage earning capacity, and loss of fringe benefits in an amount to be determined in this cause.” Id. at ¶ 9.

         Relevant to the instant motion, Spartan retained Mr. Kerry Redmann, P.E., a petroleum engineer, “to develop opinions as to the probable causes of the incident, and to respond, as appropriate, to allegations from the plaintiff's experts.” R. Doc. 53-8 at 3. As part of his investigation, on May 21, 2019, Mr. Redmann visited the SPARTAN 208, which at the time was under contract with Cox Operating and located in West Delta Block 29. Id. at 5. In his report, Mr. Redmann offers eleven opinions:

(1) Mr. Angelle, “should have known he was well within a work area and not a designated walkway, ” and should have paid “the utmost attention as trip hazards, low hanging equipment, and tight passaged abound, ” id. at 8-9;
(2) “The work area in question was sufficiently lit for any conscientious worker to navigate, ” id. at 9;
(3) Mr. Angelle “ignored” “[t]he safety protocol continually reinforced by Spartan Offshore Drilling, LLC, ” id.;
(4) “Walter Oil & Gas Corporation's Master Service Contract with Gordon Reed & associates, Inc. . . . indemnified Walter Oil & Gas from this civil action. Likewise, Spartan Offshore Drilling, LLC's Master Drilling Contract with Walter Oil & Gas . . . indemnified Spartan Offshore Drilling, LLC from this civil action. Gordon Reed & Associates, Inc [sic] is responsible for Mr. Angelle, ” id. at 10;
(5) “The packer stem, ” that Mr. Angelle allegedly tripped on was “not in a walkway but a work area, ” and, because “the path of departure from his filtration unit . . . require[ed] him to step over obstacles, ” “Mr. Angelle's negligence . . . caused the incident and his own resulting injuries, ” id.;
(6) “The packer stem, ” that Mr. Angelle allegedly tripped on was “not in a walkway but a work area, ” and, because “the path of departure from his filtration unit . . . require[ed] him to step over obstacles, ” “Mr. Angelle's negligence . . . caused the incident and his own resulting injuries, ” id. at 11;
(7) “The packer stem, ” that Mr. Angelle allegedly tripped on was “not in a walkway but a work area, ” and, because “the path of departure from his filtration unit . . . require[ed] him to step over obstacles, ” “Mr. Angelle's negligence . . . caused the incident and his own resulting injuries, ” id.;[2]
(8) “Mr. Byers was not definitive in his testimony and it sometimes contradicted [the testimony] given by Mr. Angelle . . . . Mr. Byers stated the visibility conditions weren't bad, ” and “discussed ‘squeezing' through equipment ...

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