Appeals from the United States District Court for the Eastern
District of Louisiana
JONES, SMITH, and HAYNES, Circuit Judges.
E. SMITH, CIRCUIT JUDGE.
Barrios-an employee of Centaur, L.L.C.
("Centaur")-was injured while offloading a
generator from a crew boat to a barge. The crew boat was
owned and operated by River Ventures, L.L.C. ("River
Ventures"); the barge was leased by Centaur. Barrios
sued River Ventures and Centaur for vessel negligence under
general maritime law and the Jones Act. River Ventures
crossclaimed against Centaur for contractual indemnity. The
district court granted summary judgment to Centaur, and River
Ventures appeals. We reverse and remand.
Barrios's accident, non-party United Bulk Terminals
Davant, LLC ("UBT"), executed a Master Service
Contract (the "MSC") with Centaur, a small marine
construction company. The MSC added Centaur to UBT's
approved vendor list for work at its dock facility adjoining
the Mississippi River (the "Davant Facility").
contained two provisions relevant to this appeal. The first
imposed on Centaur an obligation to indemnify UBT and its
CONTRACTOR SHALL RELEASE, DEFEND, INDEMNIFY AND HOLD UBT
GROUP (DEFINED AS UBT AND UBT'S OTHER CONTRACTORS AND
SUBCONTRACTORS OF ANY TIER . . .) HARMLESS FROM AND AGAINST
ANY AND ALL CLAIMS . . . BROUGHT BY ANY PERSON, PARTY OR
ENTITY IN RESPECT OF PERSONAL OR BODILY INJURY TO, SICKNESS,
DISEASE OR DEATH OF ANY MEMBER OF CONTRACTOR GROUP (DEFINED
AS CONTRACTOR GROUP . . . REGARDLESS OF CAUSE OR
FAULT, AND EVEN IF CAUSED IN WHOLE OR IN PART BY THE
SOLE, JOINT OR CONCURRENT NEGLIGENCE OR FAULT OF ANY MEMBERS
OF THE UBT GROUP OR THE UNSEAWORTHINESS OF ANY VESSELS OWNED,
OPERATED OR OTHERWISE UNDER THE CONTROL OF ANY MEMBER OF UBT
second required Centaur to obtain insurance covering those
Prior to Contractor commencing Work hereunder for UBT,
Contractor shall, but only to the extent of the liabilities
assumed by Contractor in this Agreement, obtain from each of
its insurers a waiver of subrogation in favor of each of the
"UBT Group" . . . and, with the exception of
Workers' Compensation Coverage . . . and the Hull
Insurance . . . name each of the UBT Group as additional
insured to each insurance policy . . ., but only to the
extent of the liabilities assumed by Contractor in this
Agreement. . . . Contractor shall ensure that any endorsement
naming the UBT Group as additional insureds shall not exclude
from coverage the sole negligence of the insureds. Contractor
shall be responsible for payment of all deductibles,
premiums, retentions and payment for all expenditures
incurred under any sue and labor provision.
governed future project-specific work orders between the
and UBT executed several work orders for projects at the
Davant Facility. One-for which Centaur submitted a proposal
in October 2015-required installation of a concrete
containment rail at one of the facility's docks. The dock
was principally used to load and offload ships carrying
"dry bulk materials," including coal and petroleum
coke. The containment rail was necessary to prevent those
materials from spilling both onto the dock and into the
proposal indicated that, at an increased cost, both a barge
and a tug boat would be required to complete the project. UBT
accepted the proposal and issued a purchase order in November
2015. That purchase order and the MSC, in tandem, formed the
contract at issue (the "Dock Contract").
perform the work, Centaur chartered barge DB-582, which was
equipped with a crane. Because DB-582 was a "dumb"
barge that couldn't self-navigate, it was moved up and
down the river using a tugboat and winch. The Centaur crew
used the barge to perform some construction work on the dock,
including "drilling holes, cutting rebar, and pouring
forms." It also used the barge to store items, pack and
unpack tools, hold safety meetings, take breaks, and eat
the dock was most easily accessed by boat, UBT contracted
with River Ventures for a crewed vessel-the M/V TROOPER-to
transport Centaur's employees from the parking area to
their worksite. Centaur also used the crew boat to ferry
tools and equipment in addition to its employees.
day of the incident, Barrios and other Centaur employees were
transporting a portable generator on the crew boat. While
attempting to offload the generator, the M/V TROOPER began to
separate from DB-582. That movement caused Barrios to fall
into the river, where the generator hit him in the head,
severely injuring him.
sued River Ventures and Centaur, alleging, inter
alia, vessel negligence under general maritime law and
the Jones Act. River Ventures- averring that it was a
third-party beneficiary of the Dock Contract-cross-claimed
against Centaur for contractual indemnity and additional
assured status under its insurance policies.
moved for summary judgment on River Ventures's
crossclaim, averring that the Dock Contract was nonmaritime
and that its indemnity provision was therefore void under
Louisiana law. To determine whether the contract was
maritime, the court considered whether "(1) the work
Centaur was performing for UBT involve[d] maritime commerce,
(2) it involved work from a vessel, and (3) the contract
provided or the parties expected that a vessel would play a
substantial role in completing the contract."
that test, the court held that the Dock Contract was a
"land-based construction contract" governed by
Louisiana law. It granted summary judgment because the
Louisiana Construction Anti-Indemnity Statute
("LCAIS") "applie[d] to prohibit the indemnity
and insurance provisions."
Ventures filed a notice of interlocutory appeal challenging
the summary judgment, averring that this court had
jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1292(a)(3) because its
claims against Centaur arose in an "admiralty case"
and determined the "rights and liabilities" between
the parties. Centaur moved to dismiss that appeal for lack of
jurisdiction, maintaining that the appeal "should not go
forward until a Final Judgment is entered by the District
Court." A panel of this court determined that
Centaur's motion should be carried with the case.
the interlocutory appeal was pending, Barrios's
underlying tort claims proceeded to a bench trial. The court
ruled for Barrios, holding that River Ventures was liable and
that Centaur wasn't liable because Barrios wasn't a
Jones Act seaman. The court then entered final judgment.
Ventures appealed, reasserting its intent to seek review of
the summary judgment. It also filed a notice of appeal of the
bench-trial findings, but it voluntarily dismissed that
appeal after settling with Barrios. River Ventures's
crossclaim against Centaur is the only claim remaining on
have a constitutional obligation to satisfy ourselves that
subject matter jurisdiction is proper before we engage the
merits of an appeal." Ziegler v. Champion Mortg.
Co., 913 F.2d 228, 229 (5th Cir. 1990). Therefore, we
first consider Centaur's motion to dismiss the appeal.
not decide, however, whether we have jurisdiction under
§ 1292(a)(3). That is because after final judgment was
entered, River Ventures filed a renewed notice of appeal
related to its indemnity and insurance claims. Because we
have jurisdiction over River Ventures's appeal under 28