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Category: Maritime

An Examination of Interlocutory Appeals and Collateral Order Doctrine

In April 2010, an offshore drilling rig, the Deepwater Horizon, exploded and sank into the Gulf of Mexico. Eleven workers died and crude oil from the well spilled into the Gulf for months after the accident. The result was a mass of litigation involving multiple defendants. In order to deal with the extensive facts and […]

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Louisiana’s Act 312 and its Impact on the Environment and Oil Exploration

La. R.S. 30:29 (“Act 312”) was in enacted in 2006 and became effective in June of that year. Act 312 provides a procedure for the remediation of oil field sites as well as oil exploration and production sites. Generally, remediation is “the action of remedying something, in particular of reversing or stopping environmental change.” Before […]

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Environmental Damage Appeal Focuses on Mineral Lease, Oil

In January, the Louisiana Supreme Court considered an appeal from the Vermilion Parish School Board. The appeal centered on environmental damage to land that was subject to a mineral lease. The mineral lease allowed those leasing the land to look for and remove any mineral, including oil, that they found on the land. However, once […]

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Boat Injury Case Highlights Watercraft and Coverage Exclusions (Pt 2)

In 2008, three men were passengers on a chartered fishing boat that collided with a utility boat. The fishing boat’s insurance company was St. Paul Fire and the utility boat’s insurance company was Steadfast. Harvest Oil owned the utility boat. Normally, the insurance companies would fight about who was at fault and may eventually make […]

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Boat Injury Case Highlights Watercraft and Coverage Exclusions (Pt 1)

In 2008, three men were passengers on a chartered fishing boat that collided with a utility boat. The fishing boat’s insurance company was St. Paul Fire and the utility boat’s insurance company was Steadfast. Harvest Oil owned the utility boat. Normally, the insurance companies would fight about who was at fault and may eventually make […]

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Louisiana and Fifth Circuit Reaffirm the Necessity of Personal Jurisdiction

The “New York Convention” (9 U.S.C. §§ 201 et seq.) gives a U.S. court the ability to enforce a foreign arbitration award if there is personal jurisdiction over the defendant. Personal jurisdiction is when the defendant can expect to appear in a foreign country’s court because the defendant has minimum contacts with the country. First […]

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Vicarious Liability Explored in Jones Act Case

What is vicarious liability? Vicarious liability, simply put, is the common law principle that an employer may be liable for its employee’s negligence if that employee’s negligence occurred within the course or scope of his or her employment. In the Beech v. Hercules Drilling Company, L.L.C., case coming out of the Eastern District of Louisiana, […]

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Certification and Settlement in Katrina/Rita Class Action Claims

The settlement in Orrill v. Louisiana Citizens Fair Plan demonstrates some of the hurdles faced by class action litigants and the benefits of having experienced class counsel. In that case, Katrina and Rita victims sought statutory penalties for their insurers’ failure to pay claims within the 30 days required by statute. The long history of […]

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Understanding the Federal National Flood Insurance Program as Hurricane Season Approaches

The Federal National Flood Insurance Program (“NFIP”) is a federal program that allows homeowners to protect against flooding because most homeowners insurance does not cover flooding (You can check out their website here). It is offered to homeowners, renters and some business owners. The federal government works with private insurance companies to encourage them to […]

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Hurricane Damage Appraisals at Core of Insurance Dispute

Even in 2012, issues regarding Hurricane Katrina, which occurred in 2005, are still prevalent. Insurance companies are particularly affected by Katrina, and they are still attempting to sort out many claims. Some of the contract claims that are still moving through the courts are somewhat unique. For example, contracts occasionally have provisions where both parties […]

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