Jones Act, Seaman, Estes Well Service & McBride


The Jones Act, Seaman, Estes Well Service & McBride case is about an alleged seaman that filed a lawsuit under the Jones Act in the United States District Court, W.D. Washington, Seattle.

A brief summary of the Jones Act, Seaman, Estes Well Service & McBride case includes:

  1. These consolidated cases arise out of an accident aboard Estis Rig 23, a barge supporting a truck-mounted drilling rig operating in Bayou Sorrell, a navigable waterway in the State of Louisiana.
  2. The truck right toppled over, and one crew member, Skye Sonnier, was fatally pinned between the derrick and mud tank, and three others, Saul Touchet, Brian Suire, and Joshua Bourque,have alleged injuries. At the time of the incident, Estis Well Service, L.L.C. (“Estis”) owned and operated Rig 23, and employed Sonnier, Touchet, Suire, and Bourque (collectively, the “crew members”).
  3. Haleigh McBride, individually, on behalf of Sonnier’s minor child, and as administratrix of Sonnier’s estate, filed suit against Estis, stating causes of action for unseaworthiness under general maritime law and negligence under the Jones Act and seeking compensatory as well as punitive damages under both claims.
  4. The other crew members filed separate actions against Estis alleging the same causes of action and also requesting compensatory and punitive damages.
  5. The United States Supreme Court in Exxon Shipping Co. v. Baker acknowledged that punitive damages are available as a remedy for general maritime torts.
  6. With McBride, punitive damages are not available to seamen in unseaworthiness claims.
  7. But this issue is developing in courts around the country
    1. Tabingo v. American Triumph (Washington state – “Here, we follow the United States Supreme Court’s rationale and find that, like maintenance and cure, punitive damages are available for a general maritime unseaworthiness claim”); and
    2. Batterton v. Dutra Group.
  8. For more on the Jones Act Case – See Jones Act, Seaman, Estes Well Service & McBride

CASE WATCH℠ is a compilation of Jones Act cases nationwide.

Case Watch is provided for the seaman and others as a source of information about various situations in which seaman have been injured while performing their jobs aboard a vessel, ship, platform etc.  The seaman have usually sought remedies (unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure) under general maritime law and the Jones Act.

We hope that it is both helpful and informative.


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At the Gooch Law Firm, we pride ourselves on providing our clients reliable representation for even the most challenging cases.

If you have been injured and/or have been diagnosed with a serious disease (e.g., leukemia, kidney cancer, bladder cancer, mesothelioma) while working as a seaman, and need an admiralty, jones act and/or maritime lawyer to help you file a Jones Act lawsuit, please contact our office at 1.800.672.4916.