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United States Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit. 1
July 6, 1982
[*1035] The sole issue before this court is whether an employee injured while performing marine petroleum exploration and extraction work aboard a drilling vessel located offshore but on state territorial waters is engaged in "maritime employment" within [*1036] the meaning of section 2(3) of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act ("LHWCA" or "Act"), 33 U.S.C. § 902(3), as amended in 1972.
The question arises in a suit by an amphibious workman against a vessel defendant for damages resulting from injuries caused by the vessel's negligence. The vessel defendant appeals the dismissal of its third-party demand against the [**2] workman's employer for indemnification insofar as the injuries were caused by the employer's fault. The precise issue is whether the employer is immune from the indemnification demand as an employer covered by the LHWCA; it is contended that the employer should be denied this immunity because its employee, although injured by maritime tort on a vessel in navigable waters, was nevertheless not in "maritime employment" and thus not covered by the Act.
A panel of this court, in a split decision, held that the work involved was indeed "maritime employment" within the meaning of the LHWCA. Boudreaux v. American Workover, Inc., 664 F.2d 463 (5th Cir. 1981). Rehearing en banc was granted. 664 F.2d 480 (5th Cir. 1982).
On rehearing, we reach the issue expressly reserved in Northeast Marine Terminal Co., Inc. v. Caputo, 432 U.S. 249, 266 n.25, 97 S. Ct. 2348, 2358 n.25, 53 L. Ed. 2d 320 (1977): "whether Congress excluded people who would have been covered before the 1972 amendment; that is, workers who are injured on navigable waters as previously defined."
For reasons to be set forth more fully, we find no Congressional intent to withdraw the [**3] coverage of the Act from those injured on navigable waters while engaged in what was considered as "maritime employment" for LHWCA purposes prior to the 1972 amendments. 2 We, therefore, like the panel, affirm the district court's determination in favor of the Act's coverage of this maritime injury.
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680 F.2d 1034 *; 1982 U.S. App. LEXIS 17681 **
Keith A. BOUDREAUX, Plaintiff, v. AMERICAN WORKOVER, INC., et al., Defendants; AWI, INC., Defendant, Third-Party Plaintiff-Appellant, v. AMERICAN INSURANCE CO., Third-Party Defendant-Appellee.
Prior History: [**1] Appeal from the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana.
maritime, coverage, navigable waters, employees, injuries, vessel, revision, situs, significant relationship, shoreside, commerce, decisions, navigation, legislative history, amphibious, purposes, Ship, occurring, workers' compensation, Longshoremen's, jurisprudential, interpretations, realistically, benefits, drilling, broaden, marine, third-party, provisions, Workmen's
Admiralty & Maritime Law, Maritime Tort Actions, Negligence, General Overview, Multiple Defendants, Contribution, Maritime Workers' Claims, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Maritime Tort Actions, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Compensability, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Business & Corporate Compliance, Coverage & Definitions, Employers, Injuries, Status Requirement, Exclusivity & Jurisdictional Issues, Negligence, Situs Requirement, Labor & Employment Law, Employment Relationships, At Will Employment, Definition of Employees, Evidence, Course of Employment, Injuries, Definition of Employers, Awards, Indemnity, Torts, Vicarious Liability, Employers