Longshore and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act and Defense Base Act
Originally begun as a maritime defense law firm, Degan, Blanchard & Nash has diversified from its traditional role primarily in the Louisiana and Texas maritime area into, among other areas, the “blue water” and international marine fields. The firm’s approach is to consistently reflect our attorneys’ broad knowledge and deep understanding of admiralty and insurance coverage law together with effective representation of the clients, the cornerstone of our longstanding client relationships.
An employer can be affected by the unimagined exposure brought about by the simple act of hiring an employee to work on the waterfront, on navigable waters, or overseas. Degan, Blanchard & Nash understand those ramifications, and represent employers and insurance carriers in matters brought under the U.S. Longshore & Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act and its extensions, including the Defense Base Act. These claims are handled before the U.S. Department of Labor and differ significantly from the ordinary state compensation claims.
Under federal law, the workers who perform certain jobs associated with vessels and maritime activity but who are not assigned to a particular vessel often have claims under the Longshore & Harbor Workers Compensation Act. These include workers who load, unload, repair, fuel, build, and/or refurbish vessels and accidents that may occur on the dock, pier, wharf, or terminal, and may even occur on the vessel or the offshore platform. Similarly, overseas workers employed by a company under contract to the U.S. Government may bring claims under the Defense Base Act, an extension of LHWCA.
The best results in a Longshore or Defense Base Act claim most often come from aggressive and experienced handling - a path that often leads to an expedient conclusion without sacrificing a threat to the employer’s professional reputation, business productivity, or financial health. Our Longshore and Defense Base Act attorneys are experienced in defending concurrent jurisdiction claims (representing companies with claims pending simultaneously before state and federal forums) and protection of employers’ civil, subrogation and credit rights. The attorneys of Degan, Blanchard & Nash also render opinions for our clients on LHWCA and DBA issues ranging from jurisdiction, compensability, and insurance coverage.
In LHWCA and DBA matters, our attorneys have experience practicing before the U.S. Department of Labor, Office of Administrative Law Judges and the Benefits Review Board. We handle all aspects of these types of cases, from their inception through final resolution, including initial factual investigation, client reporting, case evaluation, 8(f) Special Fund claims, discovery, mediation, information conferences, motions for summary judgment, ALJ settlement Judge proceedings, Medicare Set Asides, 8(i) settlements, trial, appeal and pre and post-trial briefing. Additionally, we regularly practice in the federal system, from U.S. District Courts to the U.S. Courts of Appeal, especially the U.S. Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, where a significant number of maritime cases are decided.