United States District Court, E.D. Michigan, Northern Division
OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION TO STAY
L. LUDINGTON United States District Judge
November 2, 2016, Plaintiff Mark MacRury filed a complaint
against Defendant American Steamship Company. ECF No. 1. In
the complaint, MacRury alleges that he suffered an injury
while working as a crew member on one of Defendant's
vessels because Defendant negligently assigned MacRury to
activities it knew or should have known would result in
injury. Compl. at 1-2. On April 27, 2017, Defendant filed a
motion to stay litigation in favor of arbitration. ECF No. 9.
Five days later, MacRury filed an amended complaint. ECF No.
10. Defendant alleges that the amended complaint does not
moot the motion for a stay. For the following reasons, the
motion to stay will be granted.
amended complaint largely mirrors his original complaint. Am.
Compl., ECF No. 10. He premises his claim for relief on the
Jones Act, 46 U.S.C. § 30104 and general maritime law.
MacRury alleges that, while serving as a crew member on one
of Defendant's vessels, he was assigned to work
activities, from November 7, 2014, through August 2016, that
Defendant “knew or should have known would result in
injury.” Id. at 2. MacRury alleges that
Defendant's negligent assignment was “separate,
apart, and exclusive of any pre-existing conditions”
that MacRury might have suffered from.
Id. Rather, he contends that his injury is
traceable to “the inadequate work procedures,
assistance, and equipment he was provided.”
alleges that he sustained “injury to both shoulders
resulting from said failure to provide a safe place to work
and seaworthy vessel.” Id.
motion to stay, Defendant provides additional factual
context. Defendant alleges that MacRury was working as a
Conveyorman on one of Defendant's vessels on September 5,
2013. On that day, MacRury allegedly suffered a shoulder
injury. Claims Arb. Agree., ECF No.6, Ex. A. On February 27,
2015, MacRury and Defendant executed a Claims Arbitration
Agreement. Id. That agreement will be reproduced in
WHEREAS, Mark Macrury . . . was employed as a Conveyorman on
the M/V H. Lee White and allegedly became ill or injured on
September 5, 2013, American Steamship Company . . . [has] a
duty to pay maintenance and cure because ASC was the owner
and/or operator of the vessel and/or the employer of Mark
Macrury. ASC has the obligation to pay Mark Macrury $16.00
PER DAY maintenance and $188.00 PER WEEK contractual support
benefit (CSB) (the CSB payments being required for a period
of one year only) pursuant to the contract with the SIU.
It is the position of ASC that ASC is responsible only for
maintenance and cure and is not responsible or liable for any
other damages in regard to Mark Macrury's alleged illness
or injuries under the doctrine of unseaworthiness, the Jones
Act or any other applicable law. Nonetheless, ASC is prepared
to make advances against settlement, arbitration award or
judgment of any claim that could arise under the doctrine of
unseaworthiness, the Jones Act, or any other applicable law
provided Mark Macrury agrees to arbitrate these claims.
Therefore, in consideration of Mark Macrury agreeing to
arbitrate all claims against ASC . . . arising under the
theory of unseaworthiness, Jones Act, or any other applicable
law, . . . ASC agrees to pay Mark Macrury $86.80 per day (to
be paid in biweekly installments of $1, 215.20), in addition
to $16.00 per day in maintenance and $188 per week CSB, as an
advance against settlement, arbitration award or judgment,
until he has been declared fit for duty, and/or maximum
medical improvement, and/or October 27, 2014, whichever
Id. at 1. (emphasis omitted).
Arbitration Agreement goes on to list eight numbered
statements which MacRury adopted by signing the agreement.
Id. at 1-2. The most relevant statements are as
(1) I understand that by signing this agreement, I am waiving
my right to have my claim decided by a jury. My claim will be
decided by an arbitrator.
(2) I understand that I am agreeing to arbitrate all claims
arising out of the incident described above, including any
claims for medical conditions that ...