Can Longshoremen File Third Party Claims?
Did you know that longshoremen are entitled to damages when they are injured on the job? Aside from federal laws that protect dockworkers, there are ways that longshoremen can file third-party lawsuits following an injury accident.
The laws can be confusing when it comes to obtaining money following a maritime injury. Depending upon where an accident actually takes place, you may be entitled to compensation under different federal acts. Longshoremen in particular have their own act called the Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act, better known as the Longshore Act, which allows employees to obtain compensation for items like lost income and medical expenses.
Employees who may be covered under the Longshore Act include harbor workers, crane operators, dockworkers, stevedores and shipbuilders. Most of those eligible for compensation work on dry docks, unloading or loading vessels or work in building and construction.
While you may be entitled to compensation under the Longshore Act following an accident, here is where things can get confusing for victims:
In addition to obtaining compensation through a federal act, you may also have the ability to file a third-party lawsuit against a person or company following an accident. If another entity other than a coworker or your employer contributed to your incident, you could potentially hold that party liable. This may come up if a defective material used by your employer results in an accident, or if an employee from another company injures you—the story below is a good example of this.
Texas Longshoreman Sues Disney Over His Injuries
Recently, the Southeast Texas Record reported that a longshoreman in Galveston County filed a lawsuit against Magical Cruise Company Limited, doing business as Disney Cruise Lines, and GRS Logistics Inc, as well as two men following a forklift accident.
According to the Record, in 2012, Daniel Edwards was transferring cargo between the M/V Disney Magic cruise ship and a tractor-trailer parked at a loading dock off Pier 28 in the port of Galveston, when the truck driver pulled away from the dock, causing Edwards’ forklift to fall.
GRS Logistics owned the tractor-trailer in the accident. The two men listed in Edwards’ lawsuit were the driver of the tractor-trailer and a supervisor for Disney Cruise Lines who was responsible for overseeing the cargo transfer.
Keeping Longshoremen Protected
As this case shows, if you are a longshoreman who sustains injuries on the job, it is important to have an incident investigated. In addition to the compensation you may receive under the Longshore Act, you could potentially file a lawsuit against third parties—in the case above, these parties included the truck driver and the transportation company involved in the accident.
In the video above, attorney Dave Anderson explains the importance of the Longshore Act and speaking to a lawyer following an accident. For more information about maritime injury cases, continue to follow our blog.
Latti & Anderson LLP – Nationwide Maritime Attorneys