Brown, et al. v. Offshore Specialty Fabricators, et al., No. 10-40936 (5th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
This appeal involved a putative class action brought against several oil and gas companies and several companies that provide labor for offshore oil and gas projects. Plaintiffs alleged that defendants maintained a hiring scheme to employ foreign workers on the Outer Continental Shelf in violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act (RICO), 18 U.S.C. 1961-1968, and the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), 43 U.S.C. 1331 et seq. The district court disposed of all plaintiffs' claims and then entered final judgment dismissing all claims. The court held that the Service Defendants did not violate RICO because the law that would make their conduct racketeering activity did not apply in the place where that conduct occurred, namely vessels floating on the waters of the Outer Continental Shelf. The court rejected plaintiffs' contention that the exemptions the Service Defendants possessed to the OCSLA manning requirements did not shield them from RICO liability because those exemptions were fraudulently obtained. The court also held that plaintiffs could not state a claim for a private right of action for damages under the OCSLA and the district court's dismissal was proper. The court further held that the district court did not err in disposing plaintiffs' OCSLA enforcement claim. Accordingly, the judgment of the district court was affirmed.