Alleman v. Omni Energy Services Corp.

580 F.3d 280, 2009 AMC 1817 (2009)

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Alleman v. Omni Energy Services Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
580 F.3d 280, 2009 AMC 1817 (2009)

Facts

W & T Offshore, Inc. (W & T) operated oil platforms off the coast of Louisiana in the Gulf of Mexico. W & T contracted with Omni Energy Services Corp. (Omni) (defendant) to have Omni fly W & T employees to the platforms in helicopters. An Omni helicopter carrying W & T employees to one of the platforms was involved in an accident. The passengers involved in the helicopter accident (the passengers) (plaintiffs) sued Omni. Omni sought indemnity from W & T based on their contract for the helicopter services Omni provided, which had a mutual-indemnity clause. Omni argued that the contract fell under admiralty jurisdiction and that the indemnity clause was therefore valid. W & T alleged that the contract was not a maritime contract and therefore was subject not to admiralty law, but rather to state law, which would render the indemnity clause void and unenforceable. The district court held that the contract was not a maritime contract and not subject to admiralty jurisdiction and granted partial summary judgment to W & T. Omni appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Clement, J.)

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