Boyd & Jenerette Shareholder Mark K. Eckels Secures Dismissal of Longshore Claim

June 22, 2018 by on News

After sustaining an injury while working on a groin designed to prevent beach erosion, a claimant was provided benefits pursuant to the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act.  Because the claimant worked from time to time off of a barge and because the groin extended into the Gulf of Mexico, the claimant brought a claim for benefits pursuant to the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act.  The claimant alleged his work consisted of longshoring duties and that he was injured on a covered situs, a location used for longshore purposes.  Just prior to the hearing on the claim, the claimant filed a Jones Act suit, alleging he was a seaman and entitled to benefits under the Jones Act.  At all times, the employer/carrier has asserted that the claimant’s entitlement to benefits remains with the Florida Workers’ Compensation Act.  At the hearing on the longshore claim, the claimant was given the option of proceeding on the longshore claim or dismissing it and pursuing the Jones Act claim.

The claimant opted to proceed with the hearing on the longshore claim.  After taking testimony, hearing closing arguments and the consideration of post-trial briefs, the administrative law judge (ALJ) found that while the claimant may have engaged in some longshoring activities, thereby satisfying the status prong of the longshore jurisdictional analysis, he was not injured on a site used for any longshore purposes, and thus failed to satisfy the situs prong of the jurisdictional analysis.  Hence, the claimant’s longshore claim was denied.  The claimant’s Jones Act claim remains pending, so it remains to be seen if the claimant will take an appeal of the ALJ’s decision.

Mark K. Eckels
Shareholder / Practice Group Leader
Direct: 904.353.6244

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