NEW ORLEANS — A federal judge has denied Andarko Petroleum Corp.’s motion for summary judgment against co-defendant Dolphin Services LLC in a lawsuit brought by an oil platform worker who claims he was injured while working aboard the Constitution Spar.
U.S. District Judge Nannette Jolivette Brown penned the decision, which was filed on May 11 in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
According to the decision, Nicholas Whittine filed a lawsuit against Andarko and Dolphin “for injuries he allegedly sustained while working on a floating oil production platform, the Constitution Spar.”
The platform was owned by Andarko, but Whittine was working for subcontractor Omni Energy Services when the alleged injury occurred.
“[The] plaintiff alleges that on Dec. 14, 2015, he stepped on a piece of fiberglass grating that was not properly affixed to the underlying frame, causing the grating to shift and resulting in [the] plaintiff falling through the grating and severely injuring himself,” Brown wrote in the decision. “[The] plaintiff alleges that Dolphin was responsible for the grating and welding work on the Constitution Spar at the time of the incident.”
Dolphin, however, filed an indemnification and cross claim, arguing that Andarko was obligated to indemnify it and provide defense in the lawsuit under a master service contract (MSC) between the two parties.
Andarko, for its part, argued that it was not legally obligated to indemnify Dolphin and filed a motion for summary judgment.
But Brown denied the motion for summary judgment, finding that it was “premature” to decide whether to enforce the contract’s indemnity provision because Dolphin has yet to be found liable.
“As Anadarko has not provided evidence related to Dolphin’s negligence or fault and the court has not made a finding as to Dolphin’s alleged liability or fault, the court cannot at this stage decide whether LOIA applies, and if it does, whether it nullifies the indemnification provision in the MSC,” Brown wrote in the decision.