SupremeCourt

By Daniel Stanton

As a final follow up on our previous posts (here and here) monitoring Meche v. Doucet’s progression through the court system, we report that on October 5, 2015, the United States Supreme Court denied writs. As previously reported, in Meche, 777 F.3d 237 (5th Cir. Jan. 22, 2015), the Fifth Circuit expanded the scope of the McCorpen defense ever so slightly when it ruled that successor companies are entitled to rely on the pre-employment examinations performed by their predecessors. And, as a result, the successors can avail themselves of the McCorpen defense in cases where the worker is found to have lied or failed to disclose a pre-existing injury in his pre-employment application process. Meche’s writ to the Supreme Court went far beyond the scope of slight expansion afforded by the Fifth Circuit’s decision though. Instead, Meche sought a disavowal of the McCorpen defense entirely. Refusing to the hear the case, the Supreme Court’s silence is telling: the McCorpen defense remains a viable and valuable tool in the defense of claims by Jones Act seamen against their employers – and the successors of their employers.