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.