Baldwin Haspel Burke & Mayer LLC

Maritime Update: Moored Casino is Not a Vessel

Bill Schwartz -  Posted on by Baldwin, Haspel, Burke & Mayer

As previously reported in our July 31, 2019 and November 6, 2019 Maritime Update’s, the Louisiana Supreme Court was deciding whether a permanently moored casino vessel is a “vessel” under general maritime law.

On January 27, 2020, the Supreme Court shared their decision in the case of Don Caldwell and Sheronda Caldwell v. St. Charles Gaming Company d/b/a ISLE OF CAPRI CASINO-LAKE CHARLES, noting that the very same lower appellate court had looked at the same vessel in the earlier decision in Benoit v. St. Charles Gaming Company, LLC and held the GRAND PALAIS was not a vessel. Following that precedent, the Supreme Court concluded that the GRAND PALAIS is not a vessel under general maritime law. As a result, they reversed the judgment of the court of appeal and granted the Motion for Summary Judgment that without a vessel, the plaintiff could not be a seaman, and dismissed his suit.

Click here to read the decision in its entirety.

If you have any questions regarding this maritime matter, please contact Bill Schwartz at (504) 569-2900 or



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