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McDermott International, Inc. v. Wilander

498 U.S. 337, 111 S.Ct. 807, 112 L.Ed.2d 866, 1991 AMC 913 (1991)

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McDermott International, Inc. v. Wilander

United States Supreme Court

498 U.S. 337, 111 S.Ct. 807, 112 L.Ed.2d 866, 1991 AMC 913 (1991)

Facts

Jon Wilander (plaintiff) worked for McDermott International, Inc. (McDermott) (defendant) as a paint foreman on offshore oil-drilling platforms. Wilander was assigned to a paint boat, chartered by McDermott, which served as a base used for sandblasting and painting the platforms. Wilander was injured on a platform when a bolt blew out from a pipe under pressure and struck him in the head. Wilander sued McDermott in federal district court for negligence under the Jones Act, a federal statute that allows injured seaman to sue shipowners for accidents at sea. McDermott moved for summary judgment, claiming that Wilander was not a seaman and therefore not covered by the Jones Act. The district court denied McDermott’s motion. The jury held that Wilander was a covered seaman under the statute and that McDermott was partially liable for Wilander’s injuries and awarded Wilander damages. The court of appeals affirmed the ruling. Both parties appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (O’Connor, J.)

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