• A Claimant Injured While Walking along a U.S. Naval ship that is on the Water is Not Entitled to Workers’ Compensation Benefits, The Long Shore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act Has Exclusive Jurisdiction.
  • January 25, 2017 | Author: Francis X. Wickersham
  • Law Firm: Marshall Dennehey Warner Coleman & Goggin, P.C. - King Of Prussia Office
  • Before the Workers’ Compensation Judge, the parties litigated the issue of whether there was concurrent compensation under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (Act) or whether the Long Shore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (Long Shore Act) was exclusive. The claimant testified that, at the time of the injury, the ship was located inside the basin of the Navy Yard, on the water. Consequently, the judge concluded that the Long Shore Act had exclusive jurisdiction. The Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board affirmed. On appeal to the Commonwealth Court, the claimant argued there was insufficient evidence to establish that the ship was on the navigable waters of the United States when he was injured. However, the only evidence presented on this issue was the claimant’s own testimony, and he unequivocally said that the ship was “on the water.” The court held that the Workers’ Compensation Judge correctly determined that the Long Shore Act provided the claimant’s exclusive remedy. The claimant was injured while performing the traditional maritime function of ship repair while the vessel was on the water. The claimant did not fit with any landward extension of the Long Shore Act since he presented no evidence to suggest that the ship was working on a graven dry-dock at the time of his injury.