In a recent case, the Third District Court of Appeal addressed the inter-relation between the seaman status under a Jones Act claim and the controlling statute of limitations in Dinh v. Gulf S. Inc., 2021-542 (La. App. 3 Cir. 2/9/22). There a deckhand was severely injured when he was pinned between a lifeboat and an I-beam on the vessel. The injury occurred while he was assisting in loading the lifeboat onto the vessel with a forklift. The court noted that in order to invoke the court’s admiralty jurisdiction the claimant must be a seaman under either the Jones Act or general maritime law. The claimant asserted his seaman status and sought to invoke the three-year prescriptive period, rather than the one year prescriptive period for a state law negligence claim pursuant to La. Civ. Code Ann. art. 3492. The claimant alleged that his injuries were due to the “negligent entrustment” of the forklift and/or the “negligence” of Defendants. The court determined that the Defendants herein were neither Jones Act employer nor were they the owner of the vessel. Further, the Plaintiff has already settled his claims against the vessel owner. The claim was subject to the one year prescriptive period for a negligence claim and was time barred.
The injury attorneys at Lavis Law represent injured people in their personal injury claims for compensation following an accident. Our office provides a free, confidential consultation and can be reached by calling 866.558.9151.