Sunday, May 18, 2014
Wixom v. Boland Marine and Manufacturing Co., Inc. case brief summary
Wixom v. Boland Marine and Manufacturing Co., Inc. (5th Cir. 1980)
Facts: Wixom was an employee of the D and was injured when he fell from scaffolding on the deck of the U.S.S. King. TC dismissed the suit b/c the vessel on which Wixom was working was not in navigation, and he wasn’t a member of the vessel’s crew contributing to its mission or the accomplishment of the vessel’s function.
-Only seamen can recover damages under the Jones Act, and the 3-part test for determining if one is a seaman requires that the vessel have been in navigation at the time of the injury
-In determining whether a ship under repair is still in navigation, the court should look at the extent and nature of the repair operations and who controls them
-During the injury, ship’s captain and crew were not aboard and the Navy vested its control with Boland for major structural repairs, at one point engine and propellers were inoperable
-Therefore, ship not in navigation at time of Wixom’s fall
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