Signal/NAWE Maritime Conference

The Signal/NAWE Maritime Conference will be held at the Fairmont Chicago Millenium Park Hotel on June 3-4, 2010.  Information about the conference can be found here.

Implied Duty Despite Lack of Evidence or Authority?

While performing anchor-handling operations, Plaintiff allegedly injured his back when he used a pry bar to untangle an anchor wire.  Defendant filed a motion for summary judgment arguing that Plaintiff’s neglience and unseaworthiness claims should be dismissed.  The Court found that although Plaintiff’s expert provided no evidence or other authority to support his opinion that the captain had a duty to ensure that the equipment was properly loaded, it “may be argued that the expert report implie[d] that such a duty exist[ed].”  The Court further declined to grant summary judgment on Plaintiff’s unseaworthiness claim because the equipment that caused Plaintiff’s injury was appurtenant to the vessel, and that therefore Defendant was responsible for the unseaworthy condition of the equipment.

Young v. Intermoor, Inc., 2010 WL 1731165 (E.D. La. 2010) (unpublished).

Private Security Services Classified as “Public Work”

In Irby v. Blackwater Security Consulting, another recenty jurisdiction case published by the Benefits Review Board, the BRB examined the meaning of “public work,” as the term is used in the DBA. Irby had an odd procedural history because the claimant-widow did not want coverage under the DBA, but instead wanted to pursue a wrongful death tort suit in state court following the death of her husband in Fallujah, Iraq. Nonetheless, the BRB determined that the decedent was covered by the DBA, which is an exclusive remedy statute. According to the BRB, the term “public work” includes construction projects or work connected with national defense, and decedent’s employment as a security contractor was a service contract that supported war activities.

Irby v. Blackwater Security Consulting, 44 BRBS —, BRB No. 09-0548 (Ben. Rev. Bd. 2010).

The Coalition Provisional Authority is an Agent of the U.S.

In Tisdale v. American Logistics Services, the BRB determined that Coalition Provisional Authority in Iraq operated as an “agency for the U.S.”  The CPA has the authority to act with the “sanction of [the U.S.] government behind it.”  The DBA extends coverage to contractors engaged in employment under a contract with the United States or an agency thereof.  Accordingly, Mr. Tisdale was covered by the DBA. 

Tisdale v. American Logistics Serv., 44 BRBS —, BRB Nos. 09-0582, 09-0582(A) (Ben Rev Bd. 2010).