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Gulf Offshore Co. v. Mobil Oil Corp.

ELR Citation: 10 ELR 20753
Nos. No. B2159, 594 S.W.2d 496/(Tex. Civ. App., 12/12/1979)

In a suit for damages for personal injuries suffered by an employee of appellant while working aboard an offshore oil platform, the court rejects appellant's claims of error in the trial court's award of indemnification in favor of appellee. Among the many points of error asserted by appellant was that since appellant's claim arose under the federal Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act, 43 U.S.C. §§1331-1356, the suit could properly have been brought only in federal district court. The court disagrees. Although §23(b) of the Act does vest federal courts with jurisdiction to entertain such suits, this jurisdiction is not exclusive. Congress intended state courts to have jurisdiction over cases arising on the outer continental shelf, and in such cases state courts would apply federal law, supplemented by state law.

The full text of this opinion is available from ELR (10 pp. $1.75, ELR Order No. C-1224).

Counsel for Appellant
Charles D. Kennedy, Bradley A. Jackson
Royston, Rayzor, Vickery & Williams
Suite 3710, One Shell Plaza, Houston TX 77002
(713) 224-8380

Counsel for Appellees
Frank Caton, Gary L. Marks
Crain, Caton, James & Oberwetter
Two Houston Center, Houston TX 77002
(713) 658-2323

Joseph D. Jamail, S. Gus Kolius, John B. Neibel, Nat B. King
Jamail & Kolius
3300 One Allen Center, Houston TX 77002
(713) 651-3000

Salazar, J.