Costinel v. Tidewater, Inc

[B]Date Decided[/B]: Feb 3rd, 2011
[B]Decided By[/B]: Louisiana Eastern District Court (Federal)
[B]Court[/B]: E.D.La.
[B]Citation[/B]: 2011 WL 446297 (E.D.La.)
Plaintiff, a Romanian Seaman, brought claims against thedefendant, Tidewater, alleging injuries under the general maritime law, and theJones Act. Plaintiff contractedmalaria while working in Nigeria and suffered permanent paralysis in his leftarm and his lower body. Defendantfiled a motion for summary judgment and a motion to dismiss; the first forsummary judgment under the Jones Act Exclusion, 46 U.S.C. § 30105(b), and thesecond for dismissal based on the doctrine of [I]forum non conveniens[/I]. Plaintiff, in his reply brief, asserted that he falls within theexception to the Jones Act Exclusion, 46 U.S.C. § 30105©, because (1) aremedy is not available under the laws of either Nigeria or Romania (it isassumed that both countries are asserting jurisdiction over the area in whichthe incident occurred), and that (2) both Romanian and Nigerian forums areinadequate because (a) defendant did not satisfy its burden of proving so, and(b) the Nigerian judiciary is “tainted with corruption” and the Romanian lawhas never before permitted a Romanian citizen to bring a claim against anAmerican vessel owner.

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