Category - Maritime

15
Apr

Payment of State Settlement Extends Time for Filing Occupational Disease Claim Under LHWCA

In a case of first impression, the Benefits Review Board determined that payment of settlement proceeds under a state compensation act extends the time for filing a claim for occupational disease benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act. The claimant worked as a welder in the 1970s for the employer, and then worked …

29
Aug

Offshore Floating Tension Leg Platform Not a Vessel

An offshore floating tension leg platform is not a vessel, according to the U.S. Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in Baker v. Director, OWCP, 15-60634 (5th Cir. 8/19/16). The issue in Baker involved whether a worker injured during the construction of an offshore platform was entitled to benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  …

23
May

Plaintiff Cannot Be Compensated for Help Managing His Damage Award

A Louisiana federal judge recently rebuffed a plaintiff’s attempt to extend the range of available damages to include an award for “financial management” damages in a Jones Act claim.  The opinion contains little factual information, but the plaintiff apparently was 27 years old at the time of the injury and had reached maximum medical improvement …

4
May

Louisiana Third Circuit Awards Attorney’s Fees Even After Maintenance and Cure Paid

The Louisiana Third Circuit Court of Appeal recently decided an apparently novel issue under maritime law.  The Third Circuit held that an employer that arbitrarily delays paying maintenance and cure is liable for the plaintiff’s attorney’s fees, even those incurred after the payment of maintenance and cure, if the employer pays the benefits conditionally and …

6
Apr

P&I Policy Requires a Vessel, the Fifth Circuit Reminds

A P&I policy generally requires a causal connection between a vessel and a resulting injury for coverage, according to a recent decision from the U.S. Fifth Circuit. On March 22, 2016, the Fifth Circuit handed down another decision in the Naquin v. Elevating Boats litigation, which arises out of an accident in 2009.  In 2014, …

15
Mar

Contract to Salvage a Platform Covered Under LOIA

A contract for salvaging a fixed oil and gas platform in the Gulf of Mexico on the Outer Continental Shelf that supported a decommissioned well requires the application of the Louisiana Oilfield Indemnity Act (“LOIA”), according to a recent U.S. Fifth Circuit decision.  In the same decision, the Fifth Circuit found a maritime employment exclusion …

7
Jan

OCSLA Covers Auto Accident, Says Benefits Review Board

The Benefits Review Board, the appellate arm overseeing the administration of the Longshore Act and its extensions, recently examined an important U.S. Supreme Court decision involving injuries related to offshore oil and gas production. The Board found coverage under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (“OCSLA”) for an offshore worker injured in an accident while …

16
Jul

Longshore Divisions Moving into the Future

The Longshore divisions of the United States Department of Labor have updated their procedures to incorporate current technology and law.  A few months ago, the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, the agency that administers the Longshore Act, implemented a procedure for online filing of almost all required documents.  Forms and other documents may …

25
Aug

ALJ Cannot Alter an LHWCA Settlement Agreement

An ALJ cannot vary the terms of an agreed settlement application submitted by the parties, the Benefits Review Board held.  “Section 8(i) of the Act and its implementing regulations do not give an administrative law judge the authority to alter a complete Section 8(i) settlement submitted by the parties.  Rather, the administrative law judge’s options …

16
Aug

Benefits Review Board Decides New Second Injury Fund Issue

The Benefits Review Board recently determined an employer’s liability under Section 8(f) in cases in which a claimant sustains successive aggravating injuries to the same body part.  Initially, the Board upheld the ALJ’s determination that the claimant sustained three distinct work injuries, all to his back.  The claimant initially injured his back in 1999.  After …