• Personal Jurisdiction In USA Exists Over Offshore Company For Injury Off Russian Coast
  • September 30, 2014
  • Law Firm: Sutherland Asbill Brennan LLP - Washington Office
  • Following injuries sustained while working on a vessel off the coast of Russia, a U.S. worker brought suit against multiple entities involved in the operation claiming, among other things, that they provided faulty and unsafe equipment and that they failed to provide a safe workplace. The U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied the parent company of the worker’s employer’s motion to dismiss for lack of personal jurisdiction because the claims arose under federal law, the company had not conceded to the jurisdiction of the courts of any other state, the company purposefully directed its activities at the United States, and the present litigation arose from alleged injuries that arose out of or related to those activities.

    Specifically, the court pointed to the facts that the company negotiated with the plaintiff while the plaintiff was in the United States, ensured that the plaintiff receive a medical examination in the United States before traveling abroad for work, paid for the plaintiff to travel abroad from the United States to finalize the contract (which was drafted in the United States), and was involved in accompanying the plaintiff to the United States so that he could receive medical treatment here following his injuries. As the court explained, “the fact that [ ] did not engage in mass media advertising or a large-scale recruitment campaign ... does not make jurisdiction in appropriate.” The plaintiff’s specific allegation that the company had someone escort him back to a Texas hospital, but then failed to pay for his medical treatment, supported a finding that his claim for maintenance and cure arose out of the company’s alleged conduct in the United States.