McBride, Estis Well Service, Jones Act & Seaman

OFFSHORE OIL RIG PLATFORMMcBride, Estis Well Service, Jones Act & Seaman: A recent case in the United States Court of Appeals, Fifth Circuit ruled on a motion on punitive damages.

The McBride, Estis Well Service, Jones Act & Seaman case documents what many workers on a vessel, offshore, oil rig, oil platform, roustabouts and seaman may face today – an offshore injury or oil rig accident suffered while working on a ship or vessel, oil rig, oil platform or offshore that may be a potential admiralty injury, Jones act injury & maritime injury case.

To find out more on the case, see Case No. 12-30714 – September 25, 2014.

A brief summary of the facts include:

  • These consolidated cases arise out of an accident aboard Estis Rig 23, a barge supporting a truck-mounted drilling rig operating in Bayou Sorrell, a navigable waterway in the State of Louisiana.
  • The truck right toppled over, and one crew member, Skye Sonnier, was fatally pinned between the derrick and mud tank, and three others, Saul Touchet, Brian Suire, and Joshua Bourque, have alleged injuries.
  • At the time of the incident, Estis Well Service, L.L.C. (“Estis”) owned and operated Rig 23, and employed Sonnier, Touchet, Suire, and Bourque (collectively, the “crew members”).
  • We affirm the district court and conclude that this case is controlled by the Supreme Court’s decision in Miles v. Apex Marine Corp., which holds that the Jones Act limits a seaman’s recovery to pecuniary losses where liability is predicated on the Jones Act or unseaworthiness. Because punitive damages are non-pecuniary losses, punitive damages may not be recovered in this case.


Have you been injured in an offshore accident? If you have been injured while working as longshoremen, roughneck, roustabout, cruise ship employee, etc., the laws that govern the areas of navigation, shipping, and overseas injuries, known as maritime and admiralty laws, may protect you.

Individuals suffering a Maritime, Admiralty, Jones Act type personal injury (offshore injury, oil rig injury, oil rig accident or injured offshore) may be entitled to compensation in the form of maintenance payments, lost wages, monies for medical treatment and other damages. These are some of the jobs that may fall under maritime, Jones act or admiralty law:

  • Merchant Marine
  • Longshoremen
  • Cruise Ships
  • Ship Construction
  • River Boats
  • Tug Boats
  • Fish Processing
  • Commercial Underwater Divers
  • Oil Platform
  • Rig Workers
  • Roughnecks
  • Roustabout
  • Casino Boats

For more on admiralty, Jones act and admiralty injury cases, please follow this link.


At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases. If you have been injured while out at sea on a boat or vessel, working on an oil rig platform and are considered a seaman, and need an admiralty lawyer, Jones act lawyer or maritime lawyer to help you file an admiralty lawsuit, Jones act lawsuit or maritime lawsuit, please contact our office at 1.844.329.5955.