Bridges v. Penrod Drilling Co.

740 F.2d 361 (1984)

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Bridges v. Penrod Drilling Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
740 F.2d 361 (1984)

Facts

William Bridges (plaintiff) was a seaman covered by the Jones Act and employed by Penrod Drilling Company (Penrod) (defendant). Bridges worked primarily on a Penrod submersible drilling rig off the coast of Louisiana. A shipping vessel owned by Offshore Logistics Services, Inc. (Offshore) disembarked with cargo to be unloaded onto the drilling rig. By the time the Offshore vessel reached the rig, the weather had become severe. Tall waves and strong winds caused drums on the Offshore vessel to come loose and roll freely on the vessel’s stern. Despite these conditions, Bridges’s supervisors told Bridges to go onto the Offshore vessel’s deck and unload the cargo. A loose barrel crashed into Bridges, injuring him. Bridges sued both Penrod and Offshore. Bridges’s claims against Penrod were brought under both the Jones Act and general maritime law, but his claim against Offshore was only under general maritime law. Offshore also brought an indemnity action against Penrod, seeking reimbursement for any amount for which Offshore would be found to be liable to Bridges. The district court, disposing of all claims, ordered Penrod to pay two-thirds of Bridges’s damages and Offshore to pay the remaining third. Offshore appealed, arguing that it was entitled to be fully indemnified by Penrod under the Longshoremen’s and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Politz, J.)

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