On May 18, 2015, the U.S. Supreme Court considered then denied the Writ of Certiorari filed by Petitioner, Haleigh McBride, who sought to have the U.S. 5th Circuit’s En Banc Opinion in favor of Estis Well Service reversed. See McBride v. Estis Well Service, LLC, 768 F.3d 382 (5th Cir. 2014). The writ denial solidifies the 5th Circuit’s ruling that bars a Jones Act seaman from recovering punitive damages (or any non-pecuniary damages) based on his/her alleged unseaworthiness claims.
The Supreme Court Rules require 4 out of the 9 Justices to affirmatively vote to accept a case. Interestingly, no Justice voted to accept the writ application. Amicus briefs on behalf of the Petitioner were filed by the American Association for Justice, the International Transport Workers’ Federation, and a group of Maritime Law Professors (including those teaching at both Tulane and Loyola, among others).