Christina Crozier in Law360: Offshore Worker Injury Suit Heads For Texas High Court


The Texas Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear an offshore oil and gas company’s argument it can’t be held liable under the Jones Act to a worker injured when one of its ships was undergoing major reconstructions.

Helix Energy Solutions Group Inc. and related entities told the Texas justices in briefing that a lower appellate ruling made Texas the only state in the country where the Jones Act, the federal law that protects American workers injured at sea, applies even when a ship is out of navigation for an extended time. Helix is defending a claim brought by worker Kelvin Gold, who was injured on a Helix ship when it was in dry-dock in Singapore and undergoing a conversion from a ship that drills offshore wells to one that services existing wells — a process it says took 20 months and $115 million...

“Of course, we are pleased that the court has decided to hear our case,” Helix counsel Christina Crozier of Haynes and Boone LLP said. “The court’s decision will impact maritime employers statewide by defining the proper scope of the Jones Act. The court of appeals’ decision has made it easier to bring a Jones Act claim in Texas than in other jurisdictions, and we are hopeful that the court will realign Texas law with the rest of the nation."

... Helix is represented by Christina Crozier and Lynne Liberato of Haynes and Boone LLP and Susan Noe Wilson, Michael Hogue and Callie Murphy of Schouest Bamdas Soshea & BenMaier PLLC.

Excerpted from Law360. To read the full article, please click here (subscription required).

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