Mike Hooks Dredging Co., Inc. v. Eckstein Marine Serv., Inc., et al, No. 12-30474 (5th Cir. 2013)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff was operating in the Gulf Intracoastal Waterway (ICW) under its contract with the Corp when it was struck by a passing vessel. This admiralty appeal challenged the district court's finding of liability arising from the allision in the ICW. The court agreed with the district court and held that plaintiff violated Inland Navigation Rule 9 (INR 9) by mooring in a narrow channel; and that the violation triggered the rule of The Pennsylvania, shifting the burden of proving causation to the dredge. Because plaintiff failed to rebut the presumption of causation by demonstrating that the dredge was not a cause of the allision, the court affirmed the district court's judgment holding plaintiff partially liable. The court found that the district court committed no error in finding plaintiff 70 percent liable and thus affirmed the allocation of fault.