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Hernandez v. Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corp.

Court of Appeals of Louisiana, Third Circuit

June 3, 2015

LUIS HERNANDEZ
v.
LOUISIANA WORKERS' COMPENSATION CORPORATION, ET AL

APPEAL FROM THE OFFICE OF WORKERS' COMPENSATION, DISTRICT 9. PARISH OF ST. MARTIN, DOCKET NO. 14-00557. HONORABLE ELIZABETH LANIER, PRESIDING.

Gregory E. Bodin, Robert L. Blankenship, Baker, Donelson, Bearman, Caldwell & Berkowitz, P.C., Baton Rouge, LA, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLANT: Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation.

Anne K. Smith, Ogwyn Bonaventure, LLC, Baton Rouge, LA; Scott M. Hawkins, Hawkins & Associates, L.L.C., Baton Rouge, LA; Dennis Paul Juge, Juge, Napolitano, Guilbeau, Ruli & Frieman, Metairie, LA, ATTORNEY FOR DEFENDANT/APPELLEE: UNO Enterprises, LLC.

Craig D. Little, Little & Boquest Law Firm, Lafayette, LA, ATTORNEY FOR PLAINTIFF/APPELLEE: Luis Hernandez.

Court composed of Sylvia R. Cooks, Marc T. Amy and James T. Genovese, Judges.

OPINION

Page 457

[15-118 La.App. 3 Cir. 3] SYLVIA R. COOKS, Judge.

FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

In this case, Plaintiff, Luis Hernandez, suffered an injury while cutting timber to be used in the construction of a boat ramp. This ramp was being built on Bayou Teche in Loreauville, Louisiana. Bayou Teche is a navigable waterway and the ramp was to be used to launch boats into the waterway. The uncontested facts establish Plaintiff was not injured while on the ramp, but while working in a grassy area between thirty and one hundred feet from the ramp.

Plaintiff was an employee of UNO Enterprises, LLC, who assigned him to work

Page 458

under the direction and control of M. Matt Durand, LLC. Durand, a heavy construction company, was hired by Breaux's Bay Craft to build the ramp.

As a result of sustaining his injury, On January 30, 2014, Plaintiff filed a 1008 disputed claim for compensation with the Office of Workers' Compensation (OWC). UNO Enterprises was named as his employer, and Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation (LWCC) as UNO's workers' compensation insurer. LWCC answered the 1008 claim, admitting it was UNO's workers' compensation carrier. However, LWCC denied coverage for Plaintiff's claim, asserting Plaintiff was a longshoreman under the Longshoreman & Harbor Workers' Compensation Act (LHWCA), 33 U.S.C. 901-950, and thus, LWCC's policy did not provide coverage for LHWCA benefits.

UNO subsequently filed a third party demand, naming Durand as the statutory employer of Plaintiff. Shortly thereafter, Plaintiff amended his 1008 claim to add Durand as an additional employer. Durand filed a cross-claim against UNO and LWCC, alleging if it was liable as the ...


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