Paul D. Hale
- Emergency Response
- J.D., Loyola University of New Orleans, 2006
- B.A., Nicholls State University, 2002
- Brother Martin High School
A native New Orleanian, Mr. Hale represents clients in maritime torts, Jones Act claims, personal injury and property damage, contract negotiation, insurance coverage, as well as business and general litigation.
Mr. Hale defends bodily injury and death cases with an emphasis in marine and offshore litigation claims. He represents businesses in contract negotiations and a variety of business disputes. He also has experience handling property taking cases on behalf of landowners, including appropriation and expropriation cases with the United States Corps of Engineers and local Levee Districts.
Mr. Hale regularly handles energy-related claims and transactions, including interpretation of indemnity and insurance requirements in vessel charters and Master Service Agreements as well as interpretation of the anti-indemnity acts of Louisiana and Texas.
- Super Lawyers
- The Best Lawyers in America
- American Bar Association
- Federal Bar Association
- Louisiana State Bar Association
- New Orleans Bar Association
- Maritime Law Association
- Offshore Marine Service Association
- Mariner’s Club
- U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court for the Western District of Louisiana
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Mississippi
- U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Alabama
- U.S. Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit
- Trial Resulting in Defense Verdict – Fulmer, et al. v. TN Gas Pipeline, et al.
Mr. Hale was lead trial counsel for a charter boat captain who allided with an unlit well structure during a night fishing trip. The case was tried to verdict in Terrebonne Parish District Court, where our client was absolved of fault and the jury awarded $20,000,000 in compensatory damages and $15,000,000 in punitive damages.
- Summary Judgment on Jones Act Claims – Lawrence Henderson v. T&M Boat Rentals
Judge Susie Morgan of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment in favor of a Jones Act employer, finding that the allegations of plaintiff did not state any claims in negligence or unseaworthiness.
- Summary Judgment on Indemnity/Insurance Claim – Shoulder v. Carrizo Oil & Gas, et al.
Judge Jane Triche Milazzo of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment, finding that an agreement between a well owner and a contractor to plug and abandon wells was subject to maritime law. The decision was appealed to the U.S. Fifth Circuit, who affirmed it.
- Summary Judgment on Indemnity Agreement – Reyes v. C&C Marine
Judge Michael Clement of Plaquemines Parish District Court granted summary judgment on breach of contract claim against subcontractor against whom defense and indemnity was sought, as a result of a claim for burns to the subcontractor’s employee.
- Motion to Remand Denied – Guerrero v. REC Marine, et al.
Judge Martin Feldman of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana denied plaintiff’s motion to remand a general maritime law case to the Civil District Court for Orleans Parish, when the removing company’s related entity had been served with the Petition more than 30 days before.
- Summary Judgment on Plaintiff Injuries – Timmy O’Bryant v. Seacor, et al.
Judge Kurt Engelhardt of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted summary judgment on plaintiff’s claims for injury to various parts of his body, finding that expert medical testimony is required to prove personal injury in a Jones Act claim.
- Motion in Limine Granted – Timmy O’Bryant v. Seacor, et al.
Judge Kurt Engelhardt of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana granted a motion in limine excluding plaintiff’s expert from testifying.
- Removal of General Maritime Law Case joined with Jones Act Claim – Case of First Impression – Wells v. Abe’s Boat Rentals, Inc.
Hale and Cass, in a case of first impression in the United States, removed a case in which they defended a platform owner/operator being sued by a seaman under the general maritime law, which was also joined with Jones Act and general maritime law negligence and unseaworthiness claims against the seaman’s employer. Plaintiff moved to remand the entire case, but the District Court provided the relief sought by Mr. Hale’s client, finding the general maritime law claims were removable under the amended removal statute and maintaining jurisdiction over the general maritime claims against the platform owner/operator, while severing the claims against the Jones Act employer and remanding those claims to state court.
Wells v. Abe’s Boat Rentals, Inc., et al., Civil Action No. H-13-1112, 2013 WL 3110322 (S.D. Tex. June 18, 2013)
- Successful Defense of Vessel in Personnel Transfer Accident – Hardy v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., et al
Mr. Hale successfully defended a vessel owner against claims brought by a passenger alleging serious personal injuries during a transfer from a fixed platform onto the vessel. Plaintiff alleged that the positioning of the vessel and the vessel’s failure to hold position during the basket transfer caused the accident, in addition to the vessel owner’s failure to post a deckhand and/or its failure to stop the transfer once it was apparent that a dangerous condition had arisen. After Discovery was complete, Mr. Hale filed a Motion chelsfor Summary Judgment, which was opposed by plaintiff, but granted by the Court.
Hardy v. Wood Group PSN, Inc., et al., 2014 WL 1652530 (W.D. La. 2014)(Judge Hanna)
- Jones Act Personal Injury Defense – Amos Chauvin v. Antill Pipeline Construction Company, et al
Mr. Cass and Mr. Hale obtained a defense judgment in a Jones Act case in which their client was sued for damages due to a severe hand injury requiring seven surgeries. The plaintiff, a tugboat captain, injured his right hand when he slipped and fell aboard the defendant’s vessel. He claimed that his accident was caused because his employer was negligent and the vessel unseaworthy; however, Mr. Cass and Mr. Hale argued that the accident was the plaintiff’s sole fault. The judge agreed with the defense and the plaintiff was denied any damages.
Amos Chauvin v. Antill Pipeline Construction Company, et al., USDC EDLA #09-5923 “K” (2).
- Jones Act Personal Injury Defense – Jerry Hankins v. Preheat Inc. and Transocean Deepwater Drilling, Inc.
Mr. Cass and Mr. Hale obtained a defense verdict on behalf of Transocean, owner of the Deepwater Horizon drill ship, in March 2010. The plaintiff claimed to have been seriously injured while climbing an allegedly defective ladder aboard the drill ship and sued Transocean for damages under general maritime law and his employer under the Jones Act. Deutsch, Kerrigan & Stiles obtained a summary judgment dismissal of the Jones Act claim. The damages case was tried in Plaquemine Parish against Transocean, where the defense team of Mr. Cass and Mr. Hale convinced the court that Transocean was free of fault and the suit was dismissed with prejudice.
- Motion to Remand Denied – Montero v. Van Nguyen, 2022 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 31494, 2022 WL 551133 (S.D. Al. Feb. 22, 2022)(J. Moorer).
A Jones Act claim was successfully removed to federal court and plaintiff’s motion to remand was denied, as it was demonstrated that the claim was fraudulently pled. Judge Terry Moorer of the Southern District of Alabama became the first Judge outside of the US 5th Circuit to apply the rationale of Sanchez v. Smart Fabricators of Tex., L.L.C., 997 F.3d 564 (5th. Cir. 2021).
- Successful Removal of Jones Act Case – Hawthorne v. Wal-Mart, et al.
A barge cleaner sued under the Jones Act, seeking maintenance and cure for a car accident. The case was successfully removed to federal court, resulting in the dismissal of claims against the employer, as it was demonstrated that plaintiff was not a seaman and had fraudulently pled Jones Act status.;
Publications and Presentations
- Offshore Marine Association Fall CLE Program, panelist, 2014
- Understanding Master Service Agreements: Don’t Sink Your Own Ship, 2015
- Damages Recoverable in Maritime Matters, 2016
- An Overview of the Jones Act, 2018
- Personal Injury and Death Remedies Under the General Maritime Law, 2018
- Marine Recovery Claims Seminar, Presenter, Mediation in a Personal Injury Suit, 2019
- Understanding Subchapter M Regulations, 2019