Industry News & Tips

Stretching the Longshore (USL&H) Maritime Worker Compensation Boundaries

October 25, 2010

From Our Friends at LIG Marine

Longshore In Russia

 

Dennis Greenan vs. Crowley Marine Services, Inc. 55134-5-1

 

Greenan worked to help offload a barge just off Sakhalin Island, a large elongated island in the North Pacific, lying between 40° 50' and 54° 24' N. It is part of Russia and is its largest island.

 

The Longshore Act has long said that it applies in the "territorial waters of the United States" and while understandably it has been stretched to the high seas when sailing directly between two US ports, this is now the third and most far reaching option taking the Longshore Act into foreign lands. The first was Jamaica; the second the English Channel and now this third Russian case.

 

There is little in the case to dispute that Mr. Greenan's job was one that would have given him Longshore STATUS, but the SITUS (location) is a stretch in Russian Waters, in fact just off the beach.

 

Here is the big problem: In the Jamaican case, Webber vs. SC Loveland, while the court extended benefits to Mr. Webber, they held that the insurance company did not have to pay as their policy specified the states where coverage was provided and clearly Jamaica was not one of them.

 

What's worse is that few carriers will provide Longshore outside of the U.S., so now we are faced with an expansion of the territory, without any way to insure it in more cases.