Boudloche v. Howard Trucking Co., Inc., 80-3045

Decision Date19 December 1980
Docket NumberNo. 80-3045,80-3045
Citation632 F.2d 1346
PartiesEdgar J. BOUDLOCHE, Petitioner, v. HOWARD TRUCKING CO., INC., Northwest Insurance Co. and Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, U. S. Department of Labor, Respondents. . Unit A
CourtU.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit

Weigand & Siegrist, Christopher B. Siegrist, Houma, La., for petitioner.

Carin A. Clauss, Sol. of Labor, Mark C. Walters, Gilbert T. Renaut, U. S. Dept. of Labor, Washington, D. C., Roger J. Larue, Jr., Metairie, La., for respondents.

Petition for Review of an Order of the Benefits Review Board.

Before COLEMAN, Chief Judge, CHARLES CLARK and REAVLEY, Circuit Judges.

CHARLES CLARK, Circuit Judge:

A majority of the Benefits Review Board asserts that Congress did not intend for the Longshoremen's and Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (Act) to cover employees whose maritime employment was insubstantial. Because the Supreme Court has held Congress intended to cover workers when at least some part of their duties involved such employment, we reverse and remand.

The facts as found by the Board are as follows. The claimant, Edgar J. Boudloche, was employed by Howard Trucking Company, Inc., (Howard) as a truck driver. Howard was engaged in the business of transporting oil field and marine equipment used in drilling for oil and gas offshore and on land. Boudloche hauled heavy oil field equipment on a large truck and a flatbed trailer rig. Approximately half of his runs were from one land-based site to another. The other half required him to either pick up or deliver equipment at a dock. Ten to twenty percent of the docks worked by Boudloche had no loading or unloading equipment or personnel. At such docks Boudloche did all of the work of loading and unloading the equipment by himself. The remaining docks where Boudloche picked up or delivered equipment were equipped with cranes and laborers called "roustabouts" to load and unload. To develop good will for his employer, Boudloche was expected to assist in the loading and unloading process even at those well-equipped facilities. Boudloche estimated that he had a delivery or a pick-up two or three times a week at a poorly equipped dock where he had to do the loading or unloading himself.

Boudloche would use either a winch or a gin pole on his truck to load or unload at unequipped docks. This required that he board the barge being loaded or unloaded to secure or release cables on the cargo. Only 2 1/2 to 5 percent of his overall work time was spent loading or unloading cargo at unequipped dock facilities where he had to board vessels.

On the day of his injury, Boudloche was assigned to pick up several small boats used in oil and gas drilling operations. These boats were to be picked up at an unequipped dock facility. When he arrived at the dock with his truck, the boats were tied up at the water's edge. The dock was no more than a gravel and shell-covered slope leading down into the water. Boudloche backed his trailer to the water's edge and ran his winch line from the back of his cab along the trailer bed and tied it to the front of the first boat. He then winched the boat out of the water and onto his trailer. He loaded two boats in this manner. When he attempted to load the third boat, which was made of steel and much heavier than the first two, the boat slipped and fell on the claimant. Boudloche sustained a crushed pelvis and urological injuries.

Since Boudloche was at a dock at the water's edge when he was injured, he was within the Act's waterfront situs provision. 33 U.S.C. § 902(4). The single issue is whether a claimant who regularly performs indisputably maritime operations, but which maritime operations constitute only a small portion of his overall working time, occupies a status covered by the Act.

Section 2(3) of the Act provides:

The term "employee" means any person engaged in maritime employment, including any longshoreman or other person engaged in longshoring...

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  • CSX Transp., Inc., In re, s. 97-2038
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fourth Circuit
    • July 16, 1998
    ...determine whether some of them include longshoring operations is similar to that adopted in other circuits. In Boudloche v. Howard Trucking Co., Inc., 632 F.2d 1346 (5th Cir.1980), the Fifth Circuit held that an employee who spent only 2-1/2 to 5% of his overall working time performing long......
  • Martin v. Matt Canestrale Contracting, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. District Court — Western District of Pennsylvania
    • September 16, 2009
    ...Terminals, Inc. v. Director, Office of Workers' Comp. Programs, 330 F.3d 162, 169-70 (3d Cir.2003) (quoting Boudloche v. Howard Trucking Co., 632 F.2d 1346, 1348 (5th Cir.1980)). If either one of these tasks qualify as maritime employment plaintiff meets the status Loading cargo onto a vess......
  • Miller v. Central Dispatch, Inc.
    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • April 22, 1982
    ...an employee, to be covered under the Act, spend a substantial portion of his duties in maritime employment. See Boudloche v. Howard Trucking Co., 632 F.2d 1346 (5th Cir. 1980), cert. denied, 452 U.S. 915, 101 S.Ct. 3049, 69 L.Ed.2d 418 (1981); Howard v. Rebel Well Service, 632 F.2d 1348 (5t......
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    • United States
    • U.S. Court of Appeals — Fifth Circuit
    • July 16, 1981
    ...engaged in maritime activities. See, e. g., Howard v. Rebel Well Service, 632 F.2d 1348 (5th Cir. 1980); Boudloche v. Howard Trucking Co., Inc., 632 F.2d 1346 (5th Cir. 1980). The term "maritime employment" is not defined in the Act. The basic elements of that status were articulated by thi......
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