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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
November 4, 1977
Nos. 75-3101, 76-1196, 76-2668
[*354] JAMES LAWRENCE KING, District Judge:
Appellants in these cases seek review of orders in their respective trials granting summary judgment in favor of all defendants. The single issue presented is whether the trial courts erred in holding as a matter of law that appellants were barred by the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act 2 (LHWCA) from maintaining suits for negligence against defendants. For reasons to follow, we affirm in all cases. [**2]
Appellant Gaudet (No. 75-3101) originally worked for Tidelands Marine Service, Inc. ("Tidelands"). In 1963, under an arrangement with Tidelands, Gaudet began general maintenance and repair 3 [**3] at Exxon's West Delta Block 73, a complex of eight fixed platform oil drilling rigs located on the Outer Continental Shelf offshore the State of Louisiana. 4 There Gaudet, while engaged in regular duty under the supervision of Exxon's field foreman, sustained injury to his knee when struck by a barrel falling from a rack. Gaudet brought suit against Exxon for negligence.
The District Court granted summary judgment for Exxon, finding that the essential facts were not in dispute and those facts established that Gaudet could not sue Exxon for negligence because he had become Exxon's "borrowed employee," whose exclusive remedy lay under the LHWCA. 5 Gaudet appealed and challenged the appropriateness of the summary judgment.
[**4] [*355] Appellant St. Pierre (Nos. 76-1196 and 76-2668) originally worked for Bourne Welding Services, Inc. ("Bourne"). Some 17 years ago Bourne furnished him to Exxon at whose direction he worked on the offshore production facility known as Grand Isle Block 16. He was under the supervision of Field Maintenance Foreman ("gang pusher") Bennie P. Toups when he stood on a 55-gallon chemical drum to weld a channel iron for the installation of an electric generator. He was injured when the drum exploded from hot slag from his weld. The District Court rendered summary judgment against St. Pierre in his suit against Exxon for negligence. Subsequently he filed against Exxon and fellow supervisory employees Toups, Boss, and Moore, but he was again defeated at the summary judgment stage. In each case the court held that the suit was barred by the LHWCA because of St. Pierre's status as a "borrowed employee." St. Pierre appealed.
THE BORROWED EMPLOYEE DOCTRINE AND THE LHWCA
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
562 F.2d 351 *; 1977 U.S. App. LEXIS 10906 **
Russel James GAUDET, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. EXXON CORPORATION, Defendant-Appellee. Ruven ST. PIERRE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. EXXON CORPORATION et al., Defendants-Appellees. Ruven J. ST. PIERRE, Plaintiff-Appellant, v. EXXON CORPORATION, Bennie P. Toups, Richard N. Boss and Joe W. Moore, Defendants-Appellees
Subsequent History: [**1] Petition for Rehearing and Rehearing En Banc Denied December 19, 1977.
Prior History: Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
borrowed employee, factors, summary judgment, risks, borrowed, servant, third party, trial court, Contractor, original employer, acquiesced, undisputed
Admiralty & Maritime Law, Maritime Workers' Claims, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Business & Corporate Compliance, Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, General Overview, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Energy & Utilities Law, Federal Oil & Gas Leases, Outer Continental Shelf Leases, Governments, Federal Government, Property, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Compensability, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Negligence, Awards, Benefits, Death & Survival Benefits, Exclusivity & Jurisdictional Issues, Coverage, Employment Status, Borrowed Employees, Torts, Vicarious Liability, Employers, Employers, Contract Formation, Acceptance, Meeting of Minds, Contracts Law, Coverage & Definitions, Remedies Under Other Laws, Common Law, Status Requirement, Evidence, Situs Requirement, Defenses