What is the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA)?

OCSLA was enacted to extend the protections of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) to include maritime workers employed on the outer continental shelf.

The LHWCA is considered a federal workers compensation act that mandates coverage to certain “maritime” workers, including most dock workers, shipbuilders, and other maritime non-seamen. The law specifically covers workers on oil rigs because, according to definition, they are not seamen. They do not work aboard navigable vessels as crew and therefore do not qualify under the Jones Act.

These protections include compensation for medical costs, disability payments and rehabilitation costs for workers injured on the Outer Continental Shelf, as well as death benefits for families of workers who have been killed. Eligible workers can claim these benefits even if they were at fault for the accident that caused their injuries.

For a non-seaman injured on the Outer Continental Shelf to qualify for LHWCA benefits, some requirements must be met regarding the type and area of employment, as noted below:

  • The subsoil and seabed of the Outer Continental Shelf
  • Artificial islands, installations or other devices temporarily or permanently attached to the seabed, erected on the seabed, or on the Outer Continental Shelf to explore or develop resources
  • Structures present on the Outer Continental Shelf to transport resources.

When the above conditions are met, the next step is to determine whether state or federal law will govern the claim being filed. Even though platforms that lie on the Outer Continental Shelf are beyond state boundaries, this law requires that accidents that occur there to fall under the nearest state’s jurisdiction. In the Gulf, that typically means Louisiana.

UPDATE: Seacor Boat “Power” Capsizes in the Gulf near Grand Isle

Our prayers go out to the family of the crew member that died. Sadly, several crew members are still unaccounted for and the bad weather continues. We continue to hope and pray for the best throughout ongoing search and rescue efforts. For more information, see the articles below:

https://www.washingtonpost.com/nation/2021/04/14/seacor-power-louisiana-capsized-storm/?outputType=amp

As Seacor Power capsized, other boats struggled to stay afloat: ‘It was terrifying’ https://www.nola.com/news/weather/article_2c66afbc-9d62-11eb-9433-1fee553685f7.html

https://www.wdsu.com/article/coast-guard-responds-to-capsized-boat-near-grand-isle/36112873

Seacor Boat “Power” Capsizes in the Gulf near Grand Isle

Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of those affected by this tragedy, and we hope all those aiding in search and rescue stay safe as well

For more information, see https://www.wbrz.com/news/rescue-operation-underway-after-large-boat-capsizes-near-grand-isle

https://www.nola.com/news/crime_police/article_cebfdadc-9cb7-11eb-bc60-4b8ecb2ad726.html

https://t.co/xaboVGmamo

https://seacormarine.com/vessel/265-class-seacor-power/

https://www.marinetraffic.com/en/ais/details/ships/shipid:449213/mmsi:367527630/imo:8765682/vessel:SEACOR_POWER

Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act

The Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that was created to protect some workers for the payment of compensation, medical care, and rehabilitation services to employees disabled from on the job injuries that occur on the navigable waters of the United States, or in adjoining areas customarily used in the loading, unloading, repairing, or building of a vessel.

The LHWCA also provides for payment of survivor benefits to dependents if the work injury causes, or contributes to, the employee’s death. These benefits are typically paid by the self-insured employer or by a private insurance company on the employer’s behalf. The term “injury” includes occupational diseases, hearing loss and illnesses arising out of employment.

The LHWCA covers employees in traditional maritime occupations such as longshore workers, ship-repairers, shipbuilders or ship-breakers, and harbor construction workers.

The injuries must occur on the navigable waters of the United States or in the adjoining areas, including piers, docks, terminals, wharves, and those areas used in loading and unloading vessels. Non-maritime employees may also be covered if they perform their work on navigable water and their injuries occur there.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call, text, or email us today.

Personal Injury

You can trust Courtenay Law with cases involving personal injury, safety, and liability. Protecting our clients is our first priority. Working with business owners and clients in the greater New Orleans area and throughout Louisiana.

Injured out of state? No problem. Courtenay Law can handle claims throughout the country and bring in a licensed attorney in the state where the accident occurred if and when needed.

The most important thing to remember after being in an accident is not to delay medical treatment. If you are injured, it is important to seek a medical opinion as to your current prognosis so that you can consider how best to care for yourself long term.

Urgent Care facilities can provide such service. For any potential head injury needs, you should go to the Emergency Room so that proper imaging can be performed.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call, text, or email us today.

Death on the High Seas Act

The Death on the High Seas Act (DOHSA) was enacted about a century ago to protect the families of maritime workers killed while in the course of their employment aboard a ship or vessel in navigable waters. DOHSA helps families that have lost a loved one in the maritime industry recover significant amounts of compensation from a negligent employer via a wrongful death claim. DOHSA allows only a spouse, child, parent, or other dependent relative to recover compensation sought in such claims. In order for a family member to recover compensation under the statute, the death must be the fault of the victim’s employer, either partially, or in full.

Typically, a DOHSA compensation claim covers:

  • Funeral expenses
  • Loss of existing or expected financial support
  • Counseling expenses
  • Other financial costs caused by the death

When filing a lawsuit under DOHSA, the plaintiff must prove that either negligence or poor judgement of a vessel’s owner caused the death of their loved one, or that the vessel was not seaworthy.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call, text, or email us today.

Marine Personal Injury

The Jones Act

The Jones Act was established a century ago and was revised in 2006. The Jones Act is a Federal Statute that provides laws, rules, and regulations governing activity on U.S. waterways and ports. It was first established in hopes of protecting seamen from laws governing land and land based activities. Typically, land-based employees are protected under state law, which is a benefit not afforded to maritime workers. Maritime workers were not typically protected from injures occurring on the high seas.

For example, if you are working on land site and are injured on job, you are entitled to worker’s compensation benefits from your employer or through your employers insurance. Conversely, if you are a maritime worker and are injured on the high seas or away from port then you are not entitled to file for benefits against your employer for their negligence. This leaves marine workers without benefits that they would normally be afforded if their injury occurred on land as opposed to water.

The Jones Act was established to help injured seamen receive compensation and benefits from injuries sustained while working on U.S. waterways or at ports. The Jones Act protects only a specific type of maritime worker so it is extremely important to make sure that you meet all of the qualifications of the Act to establish liability against your employer and recover the compensation and benefits you deserve as a result of your employer’s negligence.

Should you have any questions, do not hesitate to call, text, or email us today.