Claim Preclusion in Actions for Maintenance and Cure

Wednesday, July 02, 2003
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit ruled that the defense of claim preclusion applies to actions for maintenance and cure. In the instant case, plaintiff brought an action against defendant for maintenance and cure for a slip and fall he suffered onboard a vessel. He then voluntarily dismissed his claim with prejudice. Later, he refiled the maintenance and cure action. Defendant then moved for summary judgment, asserting that the new claim was precluded by the earlier dismissal with prejudice. The court held that, while serial actions for maintenance and cure may be brought, this claim was precluded because it is identical to the earlier action and a dismissal with prejudice is equivalent to a judgment on the merits. Brooks v. Raymond Dugat Company L

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