On May 25, 2023, the Nation’s first U.S.-built offshore wind substation departed from a Texas fabrication facility for the South Fork Wind Farm in federal waters on the New York outer continental shelf. This marks the start of Jones Act compliant offshore wind support vessels being manufactured domestically, including the first-ever U.S. flagged wind turbine installation vessel (“WTIV”) and offshore wind service operations vessel (“SOV”), both of which are currently under construction in Texas and Louisiana, respectively.
Continue Reading MADE IN AMERICA: U.S.-Built Offshore Wind Substation and Support Vessels Start to Set Sail for Federal Waters

On June 16, the Texas Supreme Court considered the award of noneconomic damages in the amount of just over $15 million in a wrongful death case arising from a trucking accident. In a plurality opinion, the Court reversed and remanded for a new trial, holding that the jury’s discretion to make an award is limited and that noneconomic damages must be supported by evidence of the nature, duration, and severity of the injury to support both the existence and the amount of compensable loss. Additionally, the Court held that unsubstantiated arguments to the jury, such as comparisons of mental anguish to the cost of a fighter jet, a work of art, or miles driven by a defendant’s vehicles, are improper.
Continue Reading “Juries cannot simply pick a number and put it in the blank.” – Texas Supreme Court Remands Case Involving $15 Million Jury Award for Noneconomic Damages Where Award was Unsupported and Arguments to the Jury Unsubstantiated

On June 2, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit reversed a district court’s order vacating the attachment of property under Rule B of the Supplemental Rules of Admiralty. The property at issue was seized in support of a time charterer’s claims pending in UK arbitration. The Third Circuit found that, in order to qualify as facially valid maritime claims for purposes of Rule B, the claims must be actually asserted and ready for adjudication. Applying English law to the claims, the Court held that while a claim for the breach of a charter party qualified, a claim for implied indemnity and a contingent breach of charter party claim did not.
Continue Reading Third Circuit Restores Rule B Attachment Based On Breach of Contract Claim Under English Law, Implied Indemnity Claim Not Enough

On August 20, 2018, Noble House’s yacht lost its port-side rudder while entering a channel in the Bahamas. The following day, Noble House advised Underwriters at Lloyd’s, its insurer, of the casualty, whose policy allegedly covered the claim. Noble House purchased the policy from Underwriters by way of a Texas-based insurance broker in February 2018.

In its February 23, 2023 ruling in Mexican Gulf Fishing Co. v. United States Dep’t of Commerce, the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a National Fisheries Management Services (“NFMS”) rule requiring owners and operators of charter boats in the Gulf of Mexico to equip their boats with approved GPS tracking devices that

The Safer Seas Act was passed and enacted into law in December 2022 as part of the National Defense Authorization Act. The Act includes many changes for the maritime industry, specifically for owners and operators of vessels. The below checklist, current as of March 3, 2023, summarizes the required operational and onboard changes. It is

A Regulatory Increase to the Limits of Liability for Oil Pollution and an Amendment Exempting Small Passenger Vessels from the Limitation of Liability Act Present New Challenges for Vessel Owners

U.S. maritime law experienced two significant changes on December 23, 2022—one pertaining to liability for oil pollution, the other concerning small passenger vessels.

First, the

In advance of holding an offshore wind lease sale in the Gulf of Mexico, which is expected this summer, the Department of Interior recently took several steps to update the offshore wind regulatory framework. First, Interior issued a Final Rule, which reassigns the responsibilities for certain regulations governing offshore wind from BOEM to BSEE. This reassignment aligns

In a recent decision following a six-day bench trial, the Southern District of Texas ruled that shipping giant Maersk was not liable for the death of City of Kemah Police Chief Christopher Reed, who was knocked overboard when his boat caught the wake of the Maersk Idaho in the Houston Ship Channel.[1] Mr. Reed’s

The Capital Construction Fund (“CCF”) program is designed to encourage owners of U.S. flagged vessels to accumulate sufficient capital to acquire additional U.S. flagged vessels by offering tax incentives to do so. The CCF program works like a combination of an IRA and a Roth IRA in the sense that, like a regular IRA, an