01 July 2011

desi fulmer vs la dept of wildlife and fisheries et al supremes rule that injured state employees may sue the state under the jones act

Desi Fulmer vs La. Dept of Wildlife and Fisheries 01july2011
source: louisiana supreme court news release # 42

Louisiana has consented through Article XII Section 10 to suits for personal injury

This case involves a seaman who was injured in the course and scope of his employment with the State of Louisiana.

We granted certiorari in this case to determine whether an injured, state-employed seaman in Louisiana can sue the state under the Jones Act (46 U.S.C. § 30104 et seq.) in state court or whether his claim for damages is governed exclusively by the provisions of the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act (“LWCA”) (La. R.S. 23:1032 et seq.).

For the reasons that follow, we find Louisiana has waived its sovereign immunity from suit for injury to persons and the legislature has not limited that waiver concerning suits by state employees under the Jones Act. Thus, the ruling of the court of appeal is affirmed.