Recent Longshore and Defense Base Act Cases (Posted 12/2/2008)

The following is a list of recent noteworthy decisions issued by the Benefits Review Board, the Fifth Circuit, and the Office of Administrative Law Judges that we'll be reporting in Release 699 of the Benefits Review Board Service Longshore Reporter (Matthew Bender): BRB DECISIONS L. V. (WIDOW...

Change: The Need to Move the Department of Labor Into the 21st Century

With the presidential election over, Americans look forward to positive change in the years ahead. Unfortunately, the U.S. Department of Labor seems stuck somewhere in the early 20th century with regard to electronics and communications. The reluctance of the Department of Labor to move into the 21st...

Trickle Turns Into Torrent of Attorney Fee Denials

It is a rare situation indeed where a trickle of cases favorable to employers under the LHWCA (33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.) turns into a torrent of case law that virtually eliminates an avenue of recovery for claimants. [The last may have been the cases which prohibited a claimant from recoveries...

Longshore Concurrent Jurisdiction Update - 50 States & D.C. Survey

There have been several important developments in the area of concurrent jurisdiction, particularly in Illinois , Ohio and Pennsylvania . In addition, several readers, including Larry Postol of Seyfarth Shaw, L.L.P. and Tom Langan of Weeks Marine, Inc., have answered the challenge to make the...

"Not Enough"? Unsettled Issues Concerning Fee-Shifting Liability Under Section 28(b) of the Longshore Act

In Success Is Not Enough to Obtain a Fee Under § 28(b) , 1 Paul B. Howell addresses old and new jurisprudence on the conditions for employer liability for claimants’ attorneys’ fees under § 28 (b) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C. § 928...

Loyola University Annual Longshore Conference 2009

Loyola University, in co-operation with the United States Department of Labor, put on its annual Longshore Conference on March 19 and 20, 2009, in New Orleans. In spite of the worldwide economic conditions, the conference was well attended. Presentations on aspects of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’...

Pentagon’s IG to Examine AIG Insurance Provided to Private Contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan

The Defense Department's inspector general is preparing a possible audit to examine allegations that inadequate oversight by federal officials allowed AIG and other major carriers to deny medical benefits due civilian contractors in Iraq and Afghanistan. The examination, undertaken in response...

Update From the Benefits Review Board 5/29/2009

The Board began this fiscal year in October 2008 with 134 pending Longshore appeals. Historically, appeals are filed in about 10 percent of the Longshore cases decided by OALJ. During the last fiscal year, which ended September 30, 2008, the Board received 226 appeals in cases under the Longshore Act...

AIG Faces Hearing on Denial of Medical Claims by Contractors Injured in Iraq and Afghanistan

Rep. Dennis Kucinich , D-Ohio, announced today that a panel of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform will hold a hearing on June 18 to examine whether AIG and other major insurance carriers have inappropriately denied medical claims of contractors injured on the job in Iraq and Afghanistan...

Attorney's Fees - The Relevant "Community" or Reasonable Rates for Tribunal - Assessed Fees

Pursuant to Section 28 ( 33 U.S.C.S. § 928 ) of LHWCA ( 31 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.), attorney's fees may be assessed against the employer, the claimant, or not at all. If fees are assessed, the factors to be considered are first the so–called "lodestar" (hourly rate times...

Tort Claim Fails Under Defense Base Act's Borrowed Servant Rule

Research Triangle Institute ("RTI") contracted to rebuild municipal water and sewage facilities in following the 2003 invasion. RTI obtained Ladd's services as a civilian engineer by contract with his direct employer, Chemonics International, Inc. ("Chemonics"). Ladd was seriously...

The Application of the 6th Edition of the AMA Guides to Rating Impairment Under the Longshore Act

The American Medical Association’s Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment has now been published in six editions, the latest, sixth edition, having been released in 2007. Those who practice under the LHWCA ( 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.) are curious as to what role this latest edition...

Report Finds Advantages in Gov’t Takeover of Care for Injured Contractors

The Congressional Research Service has found that the Defense Department was paying far higher premiums to insure civilians working in war zones than either the State Department or the U.S. Agency for International Development. The insurance is required by the Defense Base Act and provides medical...

Resolution of Doubt

The Second Circuit recently restated the rules for applying the section 20 presumption to occupational disease cases ( 33 U.S.C.S. § 920 (a) of LHWCA, 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.). In Stanhope v. United States Department of Labor , No. 07-3560-ag, 310 Fed. Appx. 459, 2009 U.S. App. LEXIS 3248...

Offshore Drilling Worker's Tort Claim Against Drilling Company Is Barred by Exclusive Remedy Provisions of the Longshore Act; "Borrowed Servant" Rule Applies

Jackson was hired as a mechanic by Producers Assistance Corporation ("PAC"), a company that supplied workers to businesses, including Total E&P USA, Inc. ("Total"), that were engaged in offshore drilling. Jackson was immediately assigned to Total and spent seven months on rotating...

Congressman Announces Plan to Reform U.S. System to Care for Injured Civilian Contractors

Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., said Wednesday that he will introduce legislation later this year to improve the delivery of medical care to civilian contractors injured while working with the military in Iraq and Afghanistan. Cummings declined to provide details about his proposal but said he hoped it...

Whatever Happened to Uniformity?

When the Supreme Court considered the problem of states extending their workers’ compensation statutes to injuries to maritime workers on navigable waters, its overriding concern was that a uniform system apply to maritime workers throughout the country. It is hornbook law that “Congress...

Pentagon Study Proposes Overhaul of Defense Base Act to Cover Care for Injured Contractors

Congress could save as much as $250 million a year through a sweeping overhaul of the controversial U.S. system to care for civilian contractors injured in war zones, according to a new Pentagon study. In the most extensive review ever of the taxpayer-financed system, the Pentagon suggested that the...

Life After Andrepont: The Contentious Issue of Attoney’s Fees in Longshore Cases

One of the most contentious issues under the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act ( 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.) in the last few years concerns the denial of an employer paid attorney fee to a successful claimant’s attorney when the case fails to meet the strict guidelines for...

Longshore Act Amended

The American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (commonly known as the "Stimulus Package")contained a provision that amends §2(3)(F) of the Longshore and Harbor Workers'''' Compensation Act 33 U.S.C. 902(3)(F)). OLD LAW Under the prior law, the following employees...

Civilian Defense Worker's Suicide in Iraq Not Caused by Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder

Decedent, who worked for a defense contractor in Iraq, committed suicide. His widow sought benefits under the Defense Base Act (42 U.S.C.S. § 1651, et seq ., which, in turn, is an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act, 33 U.S.C.S. § 901, et seq. ), contending the...

Federal Court Strikes Down OALJ/BRB Efforts to Conceal Identity of Longshore and Black Lung Claimants

The National Association of Waterfront Employers has prevailed in its lawsuit filed against the Secretary of Labor over the use of claimant initials in case captions under the LHWCA (33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.) and the Black Lung Benefits Act ( 30 U.S.C.S. §§ 901 -944). The National Association...

Injured Abroad, Neglected at Home: Labor Dept. Slow to Help War Zone Contractors

WASHINGTON - In her first public address after taking office, Labor Secretary Hilda Solis promised to increase enforcement of laws designed to protect workers. "You can rest assured that there is a new sheriff in town," she told union members at a gathering in Miami Beach shortly after her...

Claimants' Attorneys' Fees and Expenses in LHWCA and Extension Act Cases: Understanding the Current Interpretation of 33 U.S.C.S. § 928(a) and (b) Everywhere but the 9th Circuit

In order for a Claimant's attorney to be paid for assisting with a claim brought under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ( 33 U.S.C.S. § 901 et seq.) or an extension act, the Claimant's attorney must obtain an order for his or her fees as described in 33 U.S.C.S. §...

Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor Takes Case to U.S. Supreme Court and Wins Battle for Offshore Oil Workers' Compensation Rights

U.S. Supreme Court Issues Unanimous Decision Regarding the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA) Los Angeles, CA - The Law Offices of Charles D. Naylor is proud to announce that today, the United States Supreme Court issued a unanimous decision (U.S. Supreme Court, No. 10–507, Pacific Operators...