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Foreman v. Exxon Corp.

United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
770 F.2d 490 (5th Cir. 1985)


Facts

Exxon Corp. (Exxon) (defendant) owned a fixed platform in the Gulf of Mexico. Exxon contracted with Diamond (Diamond) (defendant) and Offshore Casing Crews, Inc. (Offshore) to perform work atop the platform. Offshore agreed to indemnify Exxon “for injury to or death or illness of persons . . . in any way resulting from the willful or negligent acts or omissions of [Offshore].” In addition, Offshore agreed to indemnify Exxon for claims brought by Offshore employees, “whether or not [the claim] arose out of the joint and/or concurrent negligence of Exxon.” Finally, Exxon agreed to indemnify Diamond for all claims relevant to this case. Randy Foreman (plaintiff), an employee of Offshore, was injured while working on the platform on a drilling rig that Diamond owned. Foreman brought suit against Exxon and Diamond. Diamond filed a cross-claim against Exxon seeking indemnification based on the parties’ contract. Exxon filed a third party claim against Offshore seeking indemnification based on their contract. The jury found that Exxon, Diamond, and Offshore were each negligent in the following apportionments: Exxon—10%, Diamond—55%, and Offshore—35%. The district court upheld these percentages and held that Offshore was required indemnify Exxon for the amount for which Exxon was directly liable to Foreman. However, the district court also held that Offshore was not required to indemnify Exxon for the amount Exxon owed to indemnify Diamond. Offshore and Exxon appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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