Here are some articles on the Internet that may be interesting to the maritime, Longshore and Defense Base Act community:
Over at SCOTUSBlog, Lyle Denniston discusses the new letter briefs in Lozman. In an earlier post on this blog, we mentioned that the Supreme Court asked for letters briefs to determine whether there was a live controversy in Lozman. As Mr. Denniston reports, all parties want the Court to consider Lozman: “Lozman, the city, and the federal government all agreed in their briefs that the posting of the bond, as well as traditional maritime principles, made it clear that the pending case is not moot.” If you are interested in reviewing the letters briefs, Mr. Denniston provides links.
Over at the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation Law Community there are a few articles to check out. Stephen Embry’s article, Workers’ Injury Law and Advocacy Group Holds 40th Anniversary Symposium on the Status of Workers’ Compensation Law in the United States, discusses the most recent WILAG meeting and the history of workers’ compensation law since 1972. Stephen Vaughan’s article discusses the Fifth Circuit’s Fisher v. Halliburton decision wherein the court determined that the Defense Base Act was the plaintiffs’ exclusive remedy–thus dismissing the plaintiffs’ tort claims. Following Fisher, “[c]laimants’ attorneys are not likely to see a new cause of action in the Fifth Circuit for egregious or malicious claims handling misbehavior…[but the] Fifth Circuit has…left the door open to consideration of a claim against an employer for behavior intended to result in injury.”
At John’s Longshore and Defense Base Act Blog, John Chamberlain discusses the Ninth Circuit’s recent decision Pacific Ship Repair and Fabrication Inc. v. Dir., OWCP. He has a great take on the case from a claimant’s point of view. As correctly pointed out, had permanent total disability been paid, the claimant would have been paid more indemnity benefits. The Ninth Circuit’s formulation, however, allowed “the court to ignore the amount due to the claimant.” (Previously, we addressed Pacific Ship Repair in a post that discussed the decision from the employer’s and carrier’s point of view. Not only should the Special Fund have continued paying benefits to the permanently-disabled claimant, but the Pacific Ship Repair decision is so loosely written that it will likely cause more litigation to hash out what a “potential for improvement” is and when the “reset button” has been pressed. It looks like claimants, employer and carriers can agree that Pacific Ship Repair is a troubling decision.)
At the AEU Longshore Blog, Jack Martone posted an article that answers three important questions for employers: 1. When do I need Longshore Act insurance? 2. Where can I get Longshore Act insurance? 3. What happens if I need Longshore Act insurance and I don’t have it?
As he does every month, Tom Langan posted a new update at Longshore Update. Everyone should check out Longshore Update, which collects and discusses the past month’s Longshore and maritime-related cases. Not only are the write-ups informative, they are humorous too.