Firm attorneys set important Maritime Law precedent on appeal to the U.S. Fifth Circuit

April 15, 2011

The team of Edward E. Rundell, Stephen A. LaFleur, and Heather M. Mathews reversed the dismissal of their client's claim for economic damages in a maritime tort case.  The district court granted the defendants' motion for summary judgment, and dismissed all claims finding no physical damage to the plaintiff's property.

On appeal to the United States Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, LaFleur argued the long-standing rule of Robbins Dry Dock, 275 U.S. 303 (1927), was satisfied when a vessel entered private property without permission and caused economic losses by interfering with the business use of that property. In a published decision, the Fifth Circuit agreed, expanding the scope of Robins Drydock and M.V. Testbank, 752 F.2d 1019 (5th Cir. 1985).  Appellee’s motion for rehearing en banc was denied.