The Longshore and Harbor Worker's Compensation Act (LHWCA) is a federal law that provides worker's compensation benefits for longshoremen and other individuals engaged in maritime employment. LHCWA also provides a statutory vehicle for individuals to sue and recover for injuries caused by the negligent acts of third parties who are not their employer. In addition to an action brought under LHCWA, an injured party may, in certain cases, bring an action pursuant to New York State labor law as well.
In a recent downstate ruling, Caravello V. City of New York et al., the plaintiff was injured while traversing a gangway located on navigable waters. The Court ruled that because the plaintiff was not involved in an activity that would affect maritime commerce, the federal LHWCA did not "preempt" New York State labor law and, as such, plaintiff could sue under both statutes.
The attorneys at Dreyer Boyajian LLP have extensive experience in maritime law, including actions brought under the Jones Act, the LHWCA, and New York labor law. For example, our firm was involved in the litigation concerning a Dutch cargo ship called the Stellamare that capcized in the Port of Albany in 2003, resulting in several deaths and other catastrophic injuries.