In Massachusetts, people hurt while working will typically seek workers’ compensation benefits. While employees that sustain work-related injuries can generally recover such benefits, different rules apply for land-based and water-based employees. Thus, an employee cannot recover benefits under both sets of rules, as explained in a recent Massachusetts case. If you were hurt at work, it is in your best interest to talk to a Massachusetts workers’ compensation attorney about what steps you can take to protect your interests.
History of the Case
It is reported that the plaintiff worked for a shoreside employer in Maine. The employer owned and used a fleet of vessels for marine transportation and construction. The plaintiff suffered an injury on the job and subsequently filed a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. The claim was settled with the understanding that the worker was considered a land-based employee rather than a maritime employee, although this issue was never litigated.
Allegedly, the plaintiff then filed a complaint against the employer, seeking compensation for injuries under the Jones Act and general maritime law for unseaworthiness and maintenance and cure. Alternatively, the worker sought compensation under a section of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA), which allows certain land-based maritime workers to bring negligence actions against their employer in its capacity as the vessel owner. The employer filed a motion for summary judgment. Continue reading →