A Facility 3.2 Miles Away From Port Was Not a Longshore Situs

The claimant was employed as a dual mechanic for the employer, at the employer’s Alta Drive facility.  That facility was located three miles away from a deep water port.  While performing his duties as a mechanic at the Alta Drive facility, the claimant was injured.  He filed a Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act claim.  The administrative law judge determined that the claimant was maritime employee and that he was injured on a covered maritime status, but the Benefits Review Board (“BRB”) disagreed.  The BRB determined that the claimant was not injured on a covered situs.

To satisfy the ”situs” requirement, a claimant must demonstrate that their injury occurred “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.”   The claimant could not demonstrate that the Alta Drive facility, which was 3.2 miles away from the port, fulfilled his situs requirement because, as the BRB explained, the Alta Drive facility “is not adjacent to or in the vicinity of navigable water; its location was chosen based on general business factors; the Blount Island facility is three miles away; properties closer to Blount Island were rejected as unsuitable for employer’s purposes; and the businesses surrounding the [facility] are not maritime.”  The Eleventh Circuit agreed, affirming the BRB’s denial of benefits.

Ramos v. Dir., OWCP, No. 11-15884, 2012 WL 3237816 (11th Cir. Aug. 10, 2012).

For a copy of the BRB’s Ramos decision, click here.

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