Davis v. Dynamic Offshore Resources, L.L.C., 051217 FED5, 16-40059

Court:United States Courts of Appeals, Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit
Judge Panel:Before JONES, CLEMENT, and ELROD, Circuit Judges.
Opinion Judge:EDITH BROWN CLEMENT, Circuit Judge:
Party Name:THOMAS DAVIS, Plaintiff-Appellant v. DYNAMIC OFFSHORE RESOURCES, L.L.C., Defendant-Appellee
Case Date:May 12, 2017
Docket Nº:16-40059
 
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THOMAS DAVIS, Plaintiff-Appellant

v.

DYNAMIC OFFSHORE RESOURCES, L.L.C., Defendant-Appellee

No. 16-40059

United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit

May 12, 2017

         Appeal from the United States District Court for the Southern District of Texas

          Before JONES, CLEMENT, and ELROD, Circuit Judges.

          EDITH BROWN CLEMENT, Circuit Judge:

         Dynamic Offshore Resources LLC ("Dynamic") owns and operates offshore platforms in the Gulf of Mexico. Thomas Davis, a crane mechanic employed by Gulf Crane Services, was allegedly injured during a personnel-basket transfer to Dynamic's 86A platform. No Dynamic employees were present at the 86A platform. Independent contractors employed the lead operator, the crane operator, and all other workers on the platform. Davis brought suit against Dynamic for negligence and gross negligence. The district court granted summary judgment to Dynamic, holding that it was not vicariously liable for the alleged negligence of its independent contractors.

          Davis appeals the district court's grant of summary judgment to Dynamic. We AFFIRM.

         I

         On March 26, 2013, a Gulf Crane employee told Davis that a winch on a crane on Dynamic's 86B platform had not passed inspection and needed to be replaced. A new winch was located at the 86A platform. When Davis arrived by boat at the 86A platform, an equipment transfer basket lowered the winch into the boat. Another worker was lowered into the boat via personnel-basket transfer and informed Davis that they were going to change the winch at the 86B platform.

         Davis decided to delay replacing the winch because of safety concerns related to wind. Davis's "stop work authority" authorized him to stop work "at all times." He needed to inform Dynamic's foreman, who was on another platform, of his decision to delay the work. Instead of contacting the foreman by radio from the boat, Davis asked the crane operator to transport him to the 86A platform via personnel basket so he could call the foreman privately from the phone located on the platform.

         As Davis was being lifted, the personnel basket suddenly dropped six to eight feet. Davis testified at his deposition that the drop...

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