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Published opinion

Before JOLLY, BARKSDALE, and PRADO, Circuit Judges.

The Genesis Spar, an oil production facility, sits 150 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico. A riser system attaches the floating spar to the ocean floor, 2,600 feet below. The hub of this appeal, indeed of this entire multiparty dispute, is the failed bolts used to secure the riser system. Chevron USA, Inc. (“Chevron”), the part-owner and operator of the Genesis Spar, sued several parties to recover its costs resulting from the replacement of the failed bolts. The dispute presented by this appeal is primarily between Chevron and T-3 Custom Coating Applicators, Inc. (“Lone Star”), the distributor and vendor of the bolts. The case was tried to a jury, which returned a verdict, against several of the parties, in favor of Chevron for nearly $3 million in damages. The jury found Lone Star liable based upon its status as a negligent vendor and, secondly, as an apparent manufacturer of the bolts, making it liable under the Louisiana Products Liability Act (the “LPLA”), La. Rev. Stat. § 9:2800.51, et seq., and in redhibition, La. Civ. Code art. 2545. The jury assigned 35 percent fault against Lone Star for Chevron’s damages. Based on the jury’s determination that Lone Star was liable under Louisiana’s redhibition articles, the district court required Lone Star to pay a portion of Chevron’s attorney fees. We hold that the evidence was sufficient for the jury to find Lone Star liable as an apparent manufacturer and we AFFIRM the judgment for damages. We REVERSE the finding that Lone Star is liable under the Louisiana redhibtion articles and VACATE the judgment of attorney fees. At the outset of the trial, the parties’ contractual claims were reserved for determination by the district court, which essentially dismissed them after the jury returned its verdict in favor of Chevron. We REMAND the contract claims to the district court for further consideration.

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