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Supreme Court of the United States
March 20, 1979, Argued ; November 27, 1979, Decided
[*71] [***229] [**331] MR. JUSTICE POWELL delivered the opinion of the Court.
The question in this case is whether two workers were engaged in "maritime employment," as defined by § 2 (3) of the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, 44 Stat. 1425, as amended, 86 Stat. 1251, 33 U. S. C. § 902 (3), when they sustained injuries for which they seek compensation.
On April 12, 1973, Diverson Ford accidentally struck the middle finger of his left hand with a hammer while working on a public dock in the Port of Beaumont, Tex. On the day of his injury, Ford was employed by the P. C. Pfeiffer Co. to fasten military vehicles onto railroad flatcars. The vehicles had been delivered to the port by ship a number of days before the accident, stored, and then loaded onto flatcars the day before. The flatcars would take the vehicles to their inland designation.
Ford was working out of the warehousemen's local on the day of the accident. Agreements between employers, the warehousemen's union, and the longshoremen's union limit the tasks that warehousemen may perform in the Port of Beaumont. Warehousemen may not [****6] move cargo directly from a vessel either to a point of rest in storage or to a railroad car. Nor may they move cargo from a shoreside point of rest directly onto a vessel. These jobs are reserved for longshoremen. App. 10-11.
On May 2, 1973, Will Bryant was injured while unloading a bale of cotton from a dray wagon into a pier warehouse. Bryant was working as a cotton header for the Ayers Steamship Co. in the Port of Galveston, Tex. Cotton arrives at the port from inland shippers and enters storage in cotton [*72] compress-warehouses. The cotton then goes by dray wagon to pier warehouses where a driver and two cotton headers unload and store it. Longshoremen later move the cotton from the pier warehouses onto ships.
Contractual agreements between employers, the cotton headers' union, and the longshoremen's union distinguish the work that cotton headers may perform from the tasks assignable to longshoremen. Cotton headers may only load cotton off dray wagons into the pier warehouses or move cotton within a pier warehouse. Cargo moved directly from the ship to shoreside transportation, or directly from shoreside transportation to the ship, is handled solely by longshoremen. [****7] Id., at 25, 48-49, 57-58, 60-61.
Full case includes Shepard's, Headnotes, Legal Analytics from Lex Machina, and more.
444 U.S. 69 *; 100 S. Ct. 328 **; 62 L. Ed. 2d 225 ***; 1979 U.S. LEXIS 46 ****; 45 Cal. Comp. Cas 95
P. C. PFEIFFER CO., INC., ET AL. v. FORD ET AL.
Subsequent History: [****1] Reargued October 1, 1979.
Prior History: CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE FIFTH CIRCUIT.
Disposition: 575 F.2d 79, affirmed.
maritime, ship, cargo, coverage, longshoremen, loading, situs, cotton, transportation, unloading, employees, navigable waters, warehouse, Terminal, Marine, vessel, truck, longshoring, adjoining, container, tasks, Port, legislative history, person engaged, point-of-rest, warehousemen, repairing, headers
Admiralty & Maritime Law, Maritime Workers' Claims, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Labor & Employment Law, Employment Relationships, At Will Employment, Definition of Employees, Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Longshore & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, Coverage & Definitions, Status Requirement, Maritime Personal Injuries, General Overview, Compensability, Situs Requirement, Definition of Employers, Business & Corporate Compliance, Employers, Carrier Duties & Obligations, Cargo Care & Stowage, Discharge & Loading, Shipping, Practice & Procedure, Jurisdiction