lake tindall successfully represents local bank in federal agricultural lending priority case
FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT
for the Northern District of Mississippi
Walker’s accounts. While Guaranty did take a security interest in Walker’s
accounts under the ASA, it also took a security interest in Walker’s crops and
crop proceeds. It is the latter interest on which Guaranty relies in asserting
the priority of its security interest over FGDI’s contractual set-off rights. The
fact that Guaranty also took a security interest in Walker’s accounts does not
destroy Guaranty’s PMSI in Walker’s crops or somehow change its PMSI to an
assignment. See Miss. Code Ann. § 75-9-103A(c) (“A production-money
security interest does not lose its status as such, even if . . . [c]ollateral that is
not production-money crops also secures the production-money obligation.”).
Neither can we agree with FGDI that this case is governed by Miss. Code
Ann. § 75-9-404 and not the FSA. On this argument, the Eighth Circuit’s
decision in Farm Credit Services of America, PCA v. Cargill, Inc., 750 F.3d 965
(8th Cir. 2014), is instructive. In Farm Credit, the Eighth Circuit addressed a
situation similar to the instant case. There, a farmer had a contract to deliver
corn grown in 2010 to a buyer, and a lender made a loan to the farmer secured
by that corn. Id. at 965–66. The farmer delivered only some of the corn
required under the contract, and the buyer claimed that its damages “exceeded
- Whatever is acquired upon the sale, lease, license, exchange or other disposition of collateral;
- Whatever is collected on, or distributed on account of, collateral;
lake tindall wins Louisiana jones act marine case
LOUISIANA 3rd CIRCUIT DISCUSSES VESSEL STATUS UNDER JONES ACT
- November 12, 2015
In Armand v. Terral River Service Inc, Louisiana’s Third Circuit Court of Appeal heard plaintiff Albert Armand’s appeal from a summary judgment granted in favor of employer-defendant Terral River Service Inc. (“Terral River”). 158 So. 3d 61 (La. App. 3d Cir. 2014). The district court summarily ruled that Armand was not a Jones Act seaman and, therefore, had no cause of action against his employer for his alleged personal injuries.
Defining a Vessel Under the Jones Act
In order to be covered under the Jones Act, an employee must be found to work on a “Vessel”. Vessels are defined as “every description of water-craft or other artificial contrivance used, or capable of being used, as a means of transportation on water.” 1 U.S.C. § 3. In Stewart v. Dutra Constr. Co., 543 U.S. 481 (2005), the U.S. Supreme Court held that a vessel’s capability of water transportation must be “practical” rather than “theoretical.” More recently, in Lozman v. City of Riviera Beach, 133 S.Ct. 735 (2013), the Court ruled that “a reasonable observer, looking to the [structure’s] physical characteristics and activities, [must] consider it designed to a practical degree for carrying people or things over water.”
Floating, Fixed Work Platform NOT a Vessel
Armand alleged that 30–40% of his employment with Terral River was spent working on land near Alexandria, Louisiana, and 60–70% was spent working on an adjacent “floating, fixed work platform” located on the Red River. One preliminary issue was whether the floating platform was a vessel for purposes of Jones Act seaman status. The district court ruled that it was not.
The work platform had no navigational function and was fixed in place to both the river bottom and river bank by a series of pipes and cables. It was also connected to the bank by a heavy catwalk and conveyer system. Movement of the platform would require at least two tug boats, and five to six personnel. It had not been moved since 2010.
The Third Circuit reviewed federal jurisprudence and noted that similar structures, such as wharfboats and spars, were deemed non-vessels. The court ultimately held that the primary purpose of the structure at issue “was to provide a working platform,” and that it “was not designed (to any practical degree) to serve a transportation function.” Because the platform was not a vessel, Armand was not a Jones Act seaman, and his claims against Terral River were limited to workers’ compensation benefits.
Not Every Floating Workspace is a Vessel Under the Jones Act
Armand v. Terral River should be a reminder to employers that not every floating workspace is a vessel. Some employees who work on navigable waters may not qualify as Jones Act seamen. If in doubt as to whether your employee is a seaman or whether a structure is a vessel, it is advisable to consult an attorney.
Allen & Gooch is providing this legal update for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as legal advice or a legal opinion as to any specific facts or circumstances. You should consult your own attorney concerning your particular situation and any specific legal questions you may have.