Boston Partner Ted Murphy obtained a defense verdict in a recent trial before a federal administrative law judge. The case was brought under the LHWCA by an employee who developed DVT, pulmonary emboli, and later suffered a stroke shortly after a long flight from our client’s satellite worksite at Pearl Harbor to its home office in New England. Although the causal relationship between the flight and the development of the plaintiff’s thrombotic events was in dispute, we succeeded on a threshold defense, namely that the matter did not fall within the purview the Longshore Act despite plaintiff’s work as a marine pipefitter for many years and the fact that he was “on the clock” during the flight.

The court distinguished our client’s case from a decision by the Court of Appeals in which the Fourth Circuit found that the statute applied to a “fish spotter” who performed all of his work aboard an aircraft.