A seaman from the Philippines was injured in an accident aboard a Marshall Islands-flagged vessel and filed a suit against his employers. They, however, seek removal of the case because they claim it has been arbitrated overseas.
Defendant, Aet Mcv Beta LLC sought removal of the suit from the 23rd Judicial District Court for the Parish of St, James in Louisiana on Sept. 21 to the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana because they believe arbitration is required in the Philippines, according to the employment contract.
Plaintiff Mervy Lloyd Mongoya entered into contract with Aet Mcv Beta to be a seaman aboard the M/T Eagle Texas vessel. He was injured off the coast of Jacksonville, Florida and received treatment for injuries acquired in Florida.
Mongoya is a Philippine citizen who signed an employment contract with the Philippine Overseas Employment Administration and the Department of Labor in the Republic of the Philippines.
Mongoya originally filed suit in March 2017 in the Marshall Islands for claims related to his injuries; however, the contract deferred arbitration back to the Philippines to resolve the dispute. Mongoya appealed the decision and lost in August 2018, as the Supreme Court of the Marshall Islands agreed arbitration should occur in the Philippines.
According to the notice of removal, Mongoya initiated arbitration in the Philippines, as he was required to do by the employment contract. He was issued an award for damages but appealed the case to the National Labor Relations Commission in the Philippines.
However, on Aug. 17, Mongoya filed the same suit in the 23rd Judicial District Court for the Parish of St. James in Louisiana with no mentions of the order of arbitration award in the Philippines or what had happened in the Marshall Islands court.
Aet Mcv Beta asked the Louisiana court for removal on Sept. 21, as they believe any arbitration and additional awards or appeals should be decided in the Philippines as well according to the notice of removal.
Mongoya is being represented by Dodson & Hooks, a professional law corporation.