Worker’s Mesothelioma Claim Not Preempted by Federal Workers’ Comp Act, 5th Cir. Rules
June 16, 2023
NEW ORLEANS — The 5th Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals has ruled that state-law tort claims asserted against Huntington Ingalls Inc. (Avondale) by a maritime worker in an asbestos exposure case are not preempted by the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA) because the case falls within the “twilight zone” of concurrent jurisdiction.
In a June 12 opinion, the panel explained that because the plaintiffs’ claims are not covered by the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act (WCA), their only state-law remedy is a tort lawsuit and express preemption does not apply.
Ronald Barrosse worked for Avondale Shipyard from February …