What is the Defense Base Act? The Defense Base Act (DBA), enacted in 1941, is an extension of the Longshore Act and primarily extends benefits to defense contractors injured at overseas military bases. This means that the same benefits afforded to longshoremen are also available to injured defense contractors, including compensation for lost wages, loss of earning capacity, past and future medical expenses, vocational rehabilitation, death benefits, and more. The difference is that a DBA claimant need not be a longshoreman or offshore worker.  Rather, a DBA claimant is one who is working for a private company that is contracted by

What is the Longshore Act? The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA), often referred to as the “Longshore Act”, provides a federal workers’ comp remedy for injured longshoremen.  Benefits are administered by the Division of Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation (DLHWC), a division of the Office of Workers Compensation Programs (OWCP) within the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL).  If the dispute is not resolved by informal hearing with the OWCP, the District Director will refer the matter to the Office of Administrative Law Judges (OALJ) for adjudication by and ALJ.  Appeals from the OALJ are taken to the Benefits

Admiralty Law: The maritime industry is of critical importance to Louisiana and the Gulf South, supporting thousands of jobs and providing businesses access to markets the globe.  Admiralty and maritime law is a unique legal field that covers activities that occur on or adjacent to navigable waters including the high seas, rivers, and lakes that can be used for interstate and international commerce.  Due to the complexity of maritime law, it is critically important that you have a well-versed maritime attorney fighting to ensure that you recover all that you are entitled to under the law. Unseaworthiness: Under the general maritime law, a

Situs and Status Tests for Rail Yard Workers: Claimant worked for Employer for twenty years when he became aware that his exposure to workplace noise had caused hearing loss. He brought a claim under the Longshore Act. He argued that although he worked as a trackman operating switching engines, he sometimes worked on a track near a shipping channel and was a member of the longshoreman’s union, thus, he was a longshoreman under the Act. Employer controverted the claim on the grounds that Claimant never worked on, over, or adjacent to navigable waters. Employer further argued that switching cars was

“Vessel” is not Limited to Vessels Engaged in Commerce: Plaintiff was injured while aboard Defendant’s pleasure yacht in 2011.  In 2015, Plaintiff filed a negligence based lawsuit in federal court.  Defendant filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds that the statute of limitations for a maritime tort barred the claim.  Plaintiff argued that the maritime statute of limitation did not apply because his case was not maritime in nature since he was aboard a pleasure yacht rather than a seagoing vessel. The court found that Defendant satisfied both the locality and nexus tests, and because admiralty jurisdiction was established the three-year

Factors in Deciding OCSLA Jurisdiction: Plaintiff filed suit under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), alleging injuries to his left elbow, cervical spine, and lumbar spine as the result of an accident that occurred while working on Ram-Powell, a tension-leg fixed platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico in Viosca Knoll Block 956. The parties agreed that under OCSLA the substantive law for injuries occurring on fixed offshore platforms located on the outer continental shelf is the law of the adjacent state. However, they disagreed as to which state’s law applied. Plaintiff argued that Louisiana law should apply as it

A Mineral Lessee does not Have a Duty to Police the Waterways: In June 2014, Plaintiff was checking his crab traps when his skiff struck a submerged piling. Plaintiff’s vessel was damaged by the collision, and he sustained injuries to his head, neck, back, and other areas. He alleged that the negligence of Hilcorp Energy Company and Roustabouts, Inc. caused the accident. It is well established that a private company assumes liability for damages resulting from a collision of a boat with an obstruction in navigable waters when it has ownership, custody or is responsible for placement of the obstruction in the