A case a few years ago has recently come to my attention Dennis Greenan vs Crowley Marine Service Inc 55134-5-I
Greenan worked to help offload a barge just off Sakhalin Island. In case your geography, like mine, is pretty weak in the north Pacific, I researched online and it is “a large elongated island in the North Pacific, lying between 45°50' and 54°24' N. It is part of Russia and is its largest island”.
The Longshore act has long said that it applies in the “territorial waters of the United States” and whilst understandably it has been stretched to the high seas when sailing directly between two US ports, this is now the third, and most far reaching, opinion taking the Longshore act into foreign lands. The first was Jamaica, the second the English Channel and now this third Russian Case.
There is little in the case to dispute that Mr. Greenan job was one that would have given him Longshore STATUS, but the SITUS (location) is a stretch in Russian Waters, in fact just off the beach.
Here is the big problem, in Webber v. SC Loveland, the case in Jamaica, whist the court extended benefits to Mr. Webber, they held that the insurance company did not have to pay as their policy specified the states where coverage was provided and clearly Jamaica was not one of them.
Worse, few carriers will provide Longshore outside the US, so now we are faced with an expansion of the territory, without any way to insure it in most case!
Watch this blog for more information, as it becomes available.