Gizoni v. Southwest Marine Inc

[B]Date Decided[/B]: Jun 7th, 1995
[B]Decided By[/B]: U.S. Court Of Appeals, Ninth Circuit (federal)
[B]Court[/B]: U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
[B]Citation[/B]: Gizoni v. Southwest Marine Inc., 56 F.3d 1138, 1994 AMC 2093 (9th Cir. 1995)
Byron Gizoni worked for Southwest Marine Inc. (“Southwest”) as a shore-based rigger and rigging-foreman. While working on a pontoon barge owned by his employer, Gizoni stepped into a hole in the deck of the vessel, slipped, and suffered injuries. At the time of his injury, the pontoon barge was secured to the end of a floating dry-dock in Southwest’s shipyard and was being used to repair a rudder on a U.S. Navy ship. Gizone sued Southwest under the Jones Act alleging that his work aboard the various vessels in Southwest’s fleet qualified him as a seaman. Southwest filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Gizoni was a harbor worker not a seaman and therefore was precluded from suing under the Jones Act. The Ninth Circuit reversed that decision and remanded the issue for trial by jury. At trial, the jury held that Gizoni was not a seaman. Gizona now appeals, arguing that the district court erred in instructing the jury on the definition of seaman because it declined to instruct the jury on the fleet seaman doctrine. Read More…