Nurse Not Integral to Shipbuilding Process

In Gelinas v. Electric Boat Corporation, the Benefits Review Board addressed the question of LHWCA status.  The claimant, an occupational health nurse, filed a hearing loss claim against her employer, a shipyard.  The nurse’s duties were limited to treating injured workers in an on-site medical clinic; responding to ambulance calls in the shipyard; performing physical exams, audiograms, and EKGs; stocking RADCON (radiological control) supplies; and participating in RADCON training drills.

In affirming the Administrative Law Judge’s dismissal on summary decision, the BRB looked to a Supreme Court decision, Chesapeake & Ohio Ry. Co. v. Schwalb, 493 U.S. 40 (1989).  Applying the test outlined in Schwalb and its progeny, the court found that Claimant’s work as a nurse was not integral to the shipbuilding process to the extent that failure to perform her duties would have impeded shipbuilding activities.  The court found she was not a maritime employee under Section 2(3) of the Act and therefore not covered by the Act.  

Gelinas v. Electric Boat Corp., BRB No. 10-0422 (11/23/10)

Note: This entry was prepared by Will Bland, IV, an associate at Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett.

Jon Robinson
As a Member at Mouledoux, Bland, Legrand & Brackett, Jon Robinson focuses his practice on the representation of employers and carriers in matters arising under the Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act, the Defense Base Act, and the War Hazards Compensation Act. He can be contacted at (504) 595-3000 or by e-mail at jrobinson@mblb.com.
Jon Robinson