Consolidation Coal Co. v. Benefits Review Board; Daniel X. Smith

[B]Date Decided[/B]: Dec 22[SUP]nd[/SUP], 2010
[B]Decided By[/B]: U.S. Court of Appeals, Third Circuit (Federal)
[B]Court[/B]: United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit
[B]Citation[/B]: 629 F.3d 322
Daniel X. Smith (“Smith”) worked as a diesel mechanic forConsolidation Coal Co. (“Consolidation”) at a coal processing plant inGreensboro, Pennsylvania, adjacent to the Mononganhela River (“the River”). Oneof the functions of the plant was to transfer processed coal from inland “stockpiles” toriver barges for transport. Smith injured his back approximately 100 yards fromthe River’s edge while repairing a machine (“the Terex”) used to transportprocessed coal from stockpiles onto a conveyor belt feeding the barges. Smith required back surgery and did not return to work.
In 2004, Smith filed a claim for benefits under the § 908 ofthe Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (“LHWCA”), 33 [I]U.S.C. §§ 901-950.[/I] An Administrative LawJudge (“ALJ”) determined that Smith was eligible for benefits under the LHWCA,holding Smith satisfied both the “status” and “situs” requirements of theLHWCA.
Consolidation challenged the ruling of the ALJ and broughtthe case before the Benefits Review Board (“the Board”). The Board affirmed theALJ’s decision that Smith’s repair work was an essential part of the loadingprocess sufficient to satisfy the status requirement of the LHWCA. The Boardalso affirmed the ALJ’s decision that Smith’s injury occurred on a coveredsitus reasoning the garage adjacent to where Smith was injured had both afunctional and geographical nexus to the loading site on the river.
Consolidation appealed the decision of the Board in theUnited States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit.
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