New LHWCA Case from Fifth Circuit – Undocumented Aliens Entitled to Benefits

New LHWCA case from the Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals. The case is Bollinger Shipyards Inc. v. Dir., OCWP, and can be found here. The sole issue on this appeal is whether an undocumented immigrant is entitled to compensation and benefits under the Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act. The Fifth Circuit found that such an employee was so entitled. The precedent in the circuit, as well as analagous persuasive authority from various state supreme courts and the U.S. Supreme Court pretty much guided the result. The opinion notes the employer's advocacy was robust, using terms like "melodramatic" with comparisons to a "pirate or a Mafioso." In the end, however, these compensation statutes are designed to replace tort suits and be protective of employees.

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