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FREEHILL WINS SUMMARY JUDGEMENT ON BEHALF OF VESSEL IN PERSONAL INJURY SUIT BROUGHT BY SHIP REPAIRER

Congratulations to Freehill Hogan & Mahar Partner John F. Karpousis and Senior Associate  Ryan Byrnes for their successful dismissal of a personal injury suit brought against a vessel owner by a crane operator at a ship repair yard.  The case, Marvinney v. AUSTRALIAN SPIRIT, was before Judge Catherine DeDomenico in the New York Supreme Court, Richmond County.  The plaintiff was injured while moving an anchor chain from the dock.  The judge found, contrary to the plaintiff’s assertions, that the New York Labor Law was precluded by the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and that because the vessel owner proved in its moving papers that the vessel did not supervise, control or involve itself in the repair process, the Owners did not violate any duties owed to the ship repairer. The judge further found that because the injury occurred on land and not on the vessel, no cause of action would accrue against the vessel pursuant to the US Supreme Court’s decision in Victory Carriers v. Law. Notably, the case was dismissed from the bench after oral argument on the motion even though fact discovery had not yet been completed.