Union President Not Engaged in Maritime Employment Under LHWCA

Thursday, June 10, 2004
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit ruled that a union president is not engaged in maritime employment for purposes of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA). In the instant case, the claimant filed an application in 2000 for benefits under the LHWCA, alleging hearing loss, which he ascribed to his work as a container repair mechanic. Claimant ceased work as a mechanic in 1996 when he became a full-time president of Local 1970 of the International Longshoremen’s Association. His work as union president required his occasional presence at a marine terminal, but most of his time was spent in an office or at home. The court held that, because of the nature of his duties and his limited presence at a marine terminal, claimant’s work did not constitute maritime employment, thus making his last marine employer fully responsible for payment of his disability claim, even if his work as the union president might have aggravated the condition. Sidwell v. Virginia International Terminals, Inc., No. 03-1966 Source: HK Law
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