Lance Campbell v Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd


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[B]Case Name: [/B][I]Lance Campbell v. Royal Caribbean Cruises Ltd.
[/I][B]Date Decided: [/B]September 8, 2009
[B]Court: [/B]U.S. Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit
[B]Judge: [/B]Judge DeMoss, Judge Prado
[B]Citation: [/B]2009 WK 2870096 (C.A.5(Tex.)[B]Background:
[/B]Plaintiff, Lance Campbell, (“Campbell”) a ballet dancer for defendant, Royal Caribbean Cruises (“Royal Caribbean”).

Campbell was hired to perform on Royal Caribbean’s cruise ship. Prior to embarking, Campbell participated in on-shore rehearsals for his performances.

During one of those performances Campbell was injured and filed a complaint pursuant to the Jones Act. A district court found that Campbell did not qualify as a “seaman” under the Jones Act because the ship had not yet begun its journey when the injury occurred.

Campbell appealed the district court’s finding.

[B]Issue:
[/B]Did the district court err in ruling that Campbell was not a “Seaman” under the Jones Act because he was injured prior to the journey of the ship?

[B]Held:
[/B]This* Court found that the district court did not err in determining that Campbell was not a “seaman” under the Jones Act.

The District court relied on a Supreme Court two-part test, set forth in [I]Chandris Inc. v Latsis [/I](515 U.S. 347 (1995)).

First, an employee’s duties must “contribute to the function of the vessel or to the accomplishment of its missions”.

Second, a "seaman must have a connection to a vessel in navigation that is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature.

This Court declined to expand Jones Act coverage to those who simply [I]intend [/I]to serve as seaman. Campbell failed to show that he had a "connection to a vessel in navigation that is substantial in terms of both its nature and duration.

Accordingly the lower court’s rulings were affirmed.

[B]Comment:
The Court relied on previous Supreme Court and Fifth Circuit precedent in refusing to extend the coverage of the Jones Act. [/B]

[B]The Supreme Court in [I]Desper v. Starved Rock Ferry Co.[/I] (342 U.S. 187 (1952), concluded that a worker who suffered injuries ewhile completing land-based work on preparation for placing boats in the water and serving as a boat operator was not a seaman.[/B]

[B]Moreover, the Fifth Cirtuit, in [I]Ramos v. Delmar Systems Inc. [/I](750 F.2d 389 (5th ir. 1985) held that an employee who suffered an injury before the employer [I]actually assigned him to a particular vessel [/I]or group of vessel was not a seaman.[/B]

[B]Steve Gordon
[/B][B]http://www.offshoreinjuries.com[/B]

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