Court Awards Maritime Worker Damages in LHWCA Lawsuit

A worker, who was injured in a fall accident on a vessel while he was working as a cargo clerk, has been awarded more than $94,000 in damages by a court. The man had been employed by Ports America Louisiana Inc. On the day of the accident, he was working aboard a cargo vessel. As he was working, he slipped on hydraulic oil on the deck, and suffered serious back injuries. He reported the incident to his supervisors, and filed an accident report. He then filed a lawsuit under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act, alleging negligence by the vessel owner. The vessel owner alleged that the worker staged the accident, but the court found enough evidence to show that the incident occurred at night and there was not enough illumination on the deck. The court ruled that leakage of hydraulic oil on the deck had caused the injury, and that the vessel owner had the duty to prevent injuries to stevedores and other workers. The worker was awarded $94,698 in damages. The Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act exists to provide financial compensation to workers who do not meet the criteria for Jones Act Seaman status. Workers involved in loading and unloading cargo from vessels are often covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. Additionally, stevedores, longshoremen, dockworkers, shipyard workers, ship building workers and other workers may be included under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. A worker, who has been injured not by his employer's negligence, but by the negligence of a third party, can also file a negligence lawsuit under the Act. Brian Beckcom is a maritime lawyer dedicated to protecting the legal rights of stevedores, longshoremen, shipyard workers and other workers covered under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act

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