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Multi-Jurisdictional Workers ’ Compensation. United States Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Established 1927. Southern Pacific v. Jensen. 1908 Federal WC Act covered certain “federal” employees but not maritime workers

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multi jurisdictional workers compensation
Multi-Jurisdictional Workers’ Compensation

United States Longshore and

Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

Established 1927

southern pacific v jensen
Southern Pacific v. Jensen
  • 1908 Federal WC Act covered certain “federal” employees but notmaritime workers
  • 1914 Jensen died while unloading vessel over Navigable water-he was a longshoremen at time of injury on Navigable waters
  • On appeal, state WC claim rejected:
    • States were without power to extend WC remedy to Longshoremen injured on a gangplank between ship & pier. Federal jurisdiction over “maritime matters”
    • Longshoremen injured on the seaward side of a pier were left without a compensation remedy; Longshore injured on the pier were protected by state compensation Acts.
  • Congress enacted a federal system in 1927 – The United States Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act- as a “gap filler” to injuries occurring upon the navigable waters of the United States by workers that were not Jones Act Seamen.
usl h the act
USL&H – The Act

What Does The Act Cover?

  • Section 903. Coverage
    • “Compensation shall be payable under this Act ……from injury occurring upon the navigable waters of the United States (including any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway, or other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing, dismantling, or building a vessel)”
usl h navigable waters
USL&H – Navigable Waters
  • All waters of the United States with tidal influence
  • Waterways engaged in maritime commerce
  • Adjoining piers, wharf (1972 amendment)

Navigable Waters

usl h situs
USL&H - Situs
  • Navigable Waters, or
  • Adjoining pier
  • Wharf
  • Dry Dock
  • Terminal Building
  • Marine Railway

Situs Test

usl h situs1
USL&H - Situs
  • Navigable Waters, or
  • Adjoining area customarily used by an employer
      • Loading
      • Unloading
      • Repairing
      • Building a vessel

Situs Test (continued)

usl h status
USL&H - Status
  • Any person engaged in maritime employment including:
  • longshoring operations
  • ship repairman
  • shipbuilder
  • ship breaker


usl h status1
USL&H - Status
  • Clerical, secretarial, security, data processing **
  • Camp, club, restaurant, museum,retail outlet or recreational operation employees
  • Marina employees not engaged in construction of marina (maintenance excepted)
  • Suppliers, transporters or vendors temporarily on premises
  • Aquaculture workers

USL&H Employee Does Not Include

  • **only if employees are subject to state workers’ compensation law.
usl h status2
USL&H - Status

USL&H Employee Does Not Include: (continued)

  • building, repairing or dismantling recreational vessel under 65 feet in length**
  • repairing or dismantling recreational vessel **
  • master or member of a
    • crew of any vessel
  • person engaged by
    • master to load or unload
    • or repair any small
    • vessel under 18 tons net
  • **only if employees are subject to state workers’ compensation law.
recreational vessels and the usl h act
Recreational Vessels and the USL&H Act
  • 29 footer
  • 131 footer(excludes repair or dismantling)
usl h employer
USL&H - Employer

USL&H Employer Defined

“The term ‘employer’ means an employer any of whose employees are employed in maritime employment, in whole or in part, upon the navigable waters of the United States (including any adjoining pier, wharf, dry dock, terminal, building way, marine railway or other adjoining area customarily used by an employer in loading, unloading, repairing or building a vessel)”

Perini 459 US 297 (1983)

Bienvenu 164 F 3rd 901 (5th cir 1999)

Morganti 415 F. 3d.407 (2nd Cir 2005)

usl h employer1
USL&H - Employer
  • Governments:
  • officer or employee of United States, or
  • agency thereof, or
  • any state or foreign government, or
  • any subdivision thereof

Employers NotCovered

usl h subcontractors
USL&H - Subcontractors


Section 904. Liability for Compensation

“In the case of an employer who is a subcontractor, only if subcontractor fails to secure the payment of compensation shall the contractor be liable for and be required to secure the payment of compensation.”

Secure means to insure or self insure.

usl h legal entities
USL&H – Legal Entities
  • Partners and Individuals (not covered)

Partnerships, Sole Proprietorships

  • Executive Officers (covered, no waiver possible)
  • Employees (covered)

Corporations (Subject to Situs and Status)

  • Members (covered, no waiver possible)
  • Managers (covered, no waiver possible)
  • Employees (covered)

Limited Liability Corporation (Subject to Situs and Status)

usl h special fund
USL&H – Special Fund

Section 944. Special Fund (8F)

Second Injury fund for USL&H benefits

  • Tax based on % of indemnity payments and use of fund
  • Federal Tax Multiplier on Retros
  • Non “F” Multiplier on State Act classes
usl h related acts
USL&H – Related Acts

L&H benefits to employees of contractors performing public works construction outside the US, US Territories, possessions and at military bases outside US

Defense Base Act provides

L&H benefits to all workers whose duties are performed while out on the Outer Continental Shelf exploring/extracting natural resources, who are not seaman

Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act provides

Non appropriated Funds Instrumentalities Act provides

L&H benefits for civilian employees working on US military bases throughout the world who are not paid with funds appropriated by Congress

multi jurisdictional workers compensation1
Multi-Jurisdictional Workers’ Compensation


How To Determine The Exposures

If employee works

  • Around docks, piers, vessels, cargo, but are not assigned to specific vessels, you have an USL&H Act exposure
  • Around specific vessel, or designated fleet, whether permanently assigned or not, you have an Admiralty exposure
usl h dual capacity
USL&H – Dual Capacity
  • Section 905(b) Exclusiveness of Liability
  • Breach the duty to be seaworthy causes injury to Longshoreman.
  • Employee may bring action (in rem) against vessel as third party
  • Injury caused by negligence of employer in it’s capacity as vessel owner

Dual Capacity: Vessel Owner is Employer

multi jurisdictional workers compensation2
Multi-Jurisdictional Workers’ Compensation

Admiralty Law


Merchant Marine Act

(The Jones Act)

admiralty law
Admiralty Law

What Is It?

  • Federal Law Governing Navigation and Shipping
  • Judiciary Act of 1789 Gives Federal Courts Jurisdiction
  • Developed From British Admiralty Courts in American Colonies
  • Primarily Local Matter, State Court Jurisdiction
  • Law of Ships Flag Determines Source of Law
admiralty law obligation to injured sick
Admiralty Law Obligation to Injured/Sick

“No Fault” Obligation of Employer to Employee

    • Transportation
    • Wages
    • Maintenance
    • Cure
  • 1903 The Osceola, 189 U.S. 158
merchant marine act the jones act
Merchant Marine Act (The Jones Act)

46 U.S.C. sec 688: Recovery for injury to or death of seaman


Any seaman who shall suffer personal injury in the course of his employment may, at his election, maintain an action for damages at law, with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States modifying or extending the common-law right or remedy in cases of personal injury to railway employees shall apply; and in case of the death of any seaman as a result of any such personal injury the personal representative of such seaman may maintain an action for damages at law with the right of trial by jury, and in such action all statutes of the United States conferring or regulating the right of action for death in the case of railway employees shall be applicable. Jurisdiction in such actions shall be under the court of the district in which the defendant employer resides or in which his principal office is located.

maritime employers responsibilities
Maritime Employers Responsibilities
  • To pay transportation, wages, maintenance and cure
  • Vessel must be “reasonably fit for her intended purpose”
  • Vessel owner has duty to provide a seaworthy vessel
    • Breach of this duty with resulting injury leads to claim for “unseaworthiness”
  • in rem claim against the vessel - Federal Jurisdiction
  • Unseaworthiness can be instantaneous
admiralty extension act
Admiralty Extension Act
  • Extended admiralty jurisdiction to shoreside if injury or illness caused by a vessel through its maritime operations.
  • “The admiralty and maritime jurisdiction of the United States shall extend to and include all cases of damage or injury, to person or property, caused by a vessel on navigable waters, not withstanding what such damage or injury be done or consummated on land.”

1948 Title 46 USC sec 740

other admiralty extensions
Other Admiralty Extensions
  • Death On the High Seas Act
the seamen
The Seamen
  • Answer: Seamen

Who Has Maritime Remedies Available to Them?

  • Person is:
  • Permanently assigned to or performs a substantial part of his work upon
  • A vessel in navigation (or to an identifiable group of such vessels) and
  • Contributes to the function or mission of the vessel

How does employee gain seamen status

seamen status
Seamen Status

Two Prong Test to satisfy the criteria of:

“employment related connection to a vessel in navigation”

  • First: “Employees duties must contribute to the function of the vessel or to the accomplishment of its mission.”
  • Second: “Seamen must have a connection to a vessel in navigation (or to an identifiable group of such vessels) that is substantial in terms of both its duration and its nature.”

“A worker who spends less than about 30% of his time in the service of a vessel in navigation should not qualify as a seaman under the Jones Act.”

US Supreme Court: Chandris, Inc. et al. V. AntoniosLatsis, 513 US 945,115 S.Ct. 2172 (1995)

u s two u s supreme cases specific to in navigation
U.S Two U.S. Supreme cases specific to “in navigation”

Vessel was in drydock, still in navigation even though it is not accomplishing a “transportational” function. Contribution to vessel’s function or accomplishment of its mission must be substancial in duration and nature-created the 30% test.

Chandris v. Latsis, U.S. (1995)

Vessel need not be in motion to qualify as a vessel. It is relevant whether vessel is used or “capable” of being used in maritime transportation either in theory or practical means

Stewart v. Dutra, 125 S.Ct. 1118 (2005)

“A vessel is a ‘being”. It is born (built), it has a life and it dies. It is in navigation until it is taken out of navigation to such an extent that the original entity no longer exists; it is dead.”

- author unknown

mission of the vessel
“Mission of the Vessel”
  • McDermott International, Inc. v. Wilander, 498 U.S. 337 (1991)
    • “…we believe that the requirement that an employee’s duties must ‘contribute to the function of the vessel or of the accomplishment of its mission’ captures well an important requirement of seaman status. It is not necessary that a seaman aid in navigation or contribute to the transportation of the vessel, but a seaman must be doing the ship’s work”

US Supreme Court -

overlaps dual jurisdiction
Overlaps-Dual Jurisdiction
  • Papai v. Harbor Tug 9th Cir. (1997)

Jones Act & USL&H Act are mutually exclusive

  • Southwest Marine, Inc. v. Gizoni, 502 U.S 81 (1991)

Worker entitled to pursue both remedies simultaneously

Dual Jurisdiction examples-

  • Divers
  • Pile drivers-marine construction
  • Seafood processors on vessels
  • Oil spill responders
  • Entertainment vessels
  • Biological observers
admiralty law and the jones act
Admiralty Law and the Jones Act


Regardless of fault, employer has duty to provide….

  • Transportation
  • Wages
  • Maintenance
  • Cure

Employee can claim against the vessel for unseaworthiness

Allows employee suits against employer for negligence.

merchant marine act the jones act1
Merchant Marine Act (The Jones Act)

Jones Act simplified

  • Allows employee (crew member) suits against employer
  • Allows for trial by jury and remedy for wrongful death
  • in personamclaim against employer/vessel owner - Local Jurisdiction
insurance solutions
Insurance Solutions

USL&H Endorsement

Maritime Employers Liability Endorsement

Voluntary Compensation Maritime Endorsement

Protection and Indemnity Policy

Standard Workers Compensation Policy

standard workers compensation policy
Standard Workers’ Compensation Policy

Item 3A: Statutory State Act Coverage

Item 3B: Employer Liability Limits (905b)

Item 3C: Other States Coverage

Standard NCCI policy excludes

  • USL&H and all amendatory acts thereto
  • FELA: Federal Employers Liability Act
  • Injury to master or member of the crew of any vessel
usl h coverage endorsement
USL&H Coverage Endorsement

Amends USL&H exclusion in standard policy

Statutory USL&H benefits in schedule of states listed

Premium increase for non “F” class multipliers

Section 905(b); dual capacity addressed under part two - employers liability

No coverage for Defense Base Act, etc….

maritime employers liability coverage endorsement
Maritime Employers Liability Coverage Endorsement

Territorial limitation: (paragraph A.3. and A.6.)

Covers Master or Member of Crew (removes exclusion 10)

Excludes coverage under Protection & Indemnity policy (added exclusion 13)

Transportation, Wages, Maintenance and Cure - Excluded (unless a premium charge is shown in schedule. Paragraph 14)

Provides “in rem” coverage (paragraph D.)

Bodily injury by disease includes illness

Defense in addition to limits, unless amended

maritime employers liability coverage endorsement1
Maritime Employers Liability Coverage Endorsement

Page 2 of Endorsement: Critical

  • Scheduled description of operations
  • Transportation, wages, maintenance and cure
  • Per accident limit
  • Per disease aggregate limit
voluntary compensation maritime endorsement
Voluntary Compensation – Maritime Endorsement

Insurance company volunteers to pay scheduled benefits

Bodily injury to master or member of crew

Work subject to endorsement is scheduled

Schedule of benefits listed (State Act or USL&H Act)

Conditions of payment (paragraph D):

  • Release insured and carrier of all responsibility for injury
  • Transfer rights of recovery to carrier
    • cooperate with carrier in enforcing rights of recovery
protection and indemnity policy
Protection and Indemnity Policy

Covers liability of…..

  • Employer
  • Owner and or operator of vessel

Covers loss of life or injury, or illness of any person, including crew (line 14, 15 & 16)

Covers removal of wreck (line 19)

Excludes compensation acts (line 44 & 45)

insurance solutions1
Insurance Solutions

Penalties for Failure to Insure

penalties usl h act
Penalties - USL&H Act


  • Employer subject to one year in jail
  • Employer can be fined up to $10,000
  • President, secretary and treasurer severally personally liable for compensation to injured.
  • Benefits payable to injured worker, out of pocket
  • Loss of exclusive remedy (employee suit allowed)
  • Broker error and omission claim
penalties maritime
Penalties - Maritime

Admiralty (Maritime):

  • Transportation, wages, maintenance and cure paid out of pocket
  • Defense of negligence and or unseaworthiness claims out of pocket
  • Payment of judgement out of pocket
  • Broker error and omission
putting it all together
Putting it all Together

O. Rickey Harris ; Phone 205-221-5466

Fax 866-497-8606

Call us for your Longshoreman and Jones Act Questions and Coverages. Licensed from Coast to Coast