No. 00-927.

534 U.S. 235 (2002)

122 S.Ct. 738

151 L.Ed.2d 659


Supreme Court of United States.

Decided January 9, 2002.

Attorney(s) appearing for the Case

Matthew D. Roberts argued the cause for petitioner. With him on the briefs were Solicitor General Olson, Acting Solicitor General Underwood, Deputy Solicitor General Kneedler, Judith E. Kramer, Allen H. Feldman, Nathaniel I. Spiller, Ellen L. Beard, Edward D. Sieger, James S. Carmichael, and Robert F. Duncan.

Patrick J. Veters argued the cause for respondent. With him on the brief was John L. Duvieilh.*

Stevens, J., delivered the opinion of the Court, in which all other Members joined, except Scalia, J., who took no part in the decision of the case.

Justice Stevens, delivered the opinion of the Court.

Respondent operates a fleet of barges used for oil and gas exploration. On April 9, 1997, one of those barges, "Rig 52," was towed to a location in the territorial waters of Louisiana, where it drilled a well over two miles deep. On June 16, 1997, when the crew had nearly completed drilling, an explosion occurred, killing four members of the crew and injuring two others. Under United States Coast Guard regulations...

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