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Brownstein | Rask News

Brownstein Rask LLP Portland Oregon Attorneys

Quarterly LHWCA caselaw summary 2023/09

| Norman Cole, Of Counsel

In this quarter, the Board issued two reported decisions and many more unreported decisions. The reported decisions were:

  • Sylejmani v. Fluor Conops, Ltd. The Board held claimant waived objections to receipt of a transcript of his deposition taken in Kosovo, in apparent violation of Kosovo law that required prior approval from Kosovo authorities, when he did not object to its receipt when offered. Receipt of the transcript did not violate United States law or principles of comity.
  • Bussanich v. Marine Terminals Corporation. The Board held partial success, and therefore partial loss, was a “rejection” of a claim. If appealed, a petition for modification was timely if filed within one year of a final order rather than within one year of the last payment of compensation.  

Additionally, in Huntington Ingalls, Inc. v. Director, OWCP, the 5th Circuit affirmed a prior BRB decision concluding audiologists were physicians within the meaning of the LHWCA. Thus, in hearing loss claims a claimant has a right to select an audiologist as attending physician. Employers cannot require workers to obtain hearing aids from their favorite vendors.

In an unpublished decision, Grimm v. KBR, Inc., the Board held a contractor was responsible for paying compensation when the claimant was injured working for an uninsured subcontractor. Shifting responsibility to the contactor did not depend on whether the subcontractor was finally able to pay benefits itself.