Admiralty - Jones Act Seaman Status - Appeal

Mr. McReynolds handled this appeal. Reversing a $43 million jury award, the Fifth Circuit held, as a matter of law, that a third year summer intern’s assignment to a jack-up drilling rig in the Gulf of Mexico for a three-day gravel-packing job was not a permanent, regular or consistent re-assignment to sea-based work that regularly exposed the student to the "perils of the sea" within the meaning of Chandris, Inc. v. Landis, 515 U.S. 347, 115 S. Ct. 2172 (1995), so as to classify the student as Jones Act Seaman: "To give teeth to theChandris opinion’s rejection of a voyage test, it must be held that merely serving an assignment on a vessel in navigation does not alter a worker’s status. If that were not the case, Chandris in fact would have established a voyage test."
Becker v. Tidewater, Inc., 335 F. 3d 376 (5th Cir. 2003).