Jones Act Case: No Automatic Liability for Employer for Medical Providers’ Negligence

In a recent Jones Act case, Randle v. Crosby Tugs, L.L.C., 911 F.3d 280 (5th Cir. 2018), the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit, ruled that the employer/vessel owner was not automatically liable for the malpractice of the physicians that treated a seaman who suffered a stroke while aboard their vessel. Randle v. Crosby Tugs, L.L.C. – Background The plaintiff was employed as a Jones Act seaman and allegedly sustained a stroke while aboard the vessel at the dock in Amelia, Louisiana. The crew called for medical assistance, and Acadian Ambulance was dispatched to the vessel. Plaintiff was thereafter transported via ambulance to Teche Regional Medical Center (“TRMC”) less than an hour after the initial 911 call. Plaintiff was subsequently transferred by TRMC to Ochsner Medical Center (“Ochsner”) in New Orleans, where his treatment continued. It was undisputed that plaintiff never returned to the vessel and that his employer was not…

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