Claimant worked for Employer for twenty years when he became aware that his exposure to workplace noise had caused hearing loss. He brought a claim under the Longshore Act. He argued that although he worked as a trackman operating switching engines, he sometimes worked on a track near a shipping channel and was a member of the longshoreman’s union, thus, he was a longshoreman under the Act. Employer controverted the claim on the grounds that Claimant never worked on, over, or adjacent to navigable waters. Employer further argued that switching cars was not integral or necessary to the loading or unloading of a vessel.
Plaintiff filed suit under the Outer Continental Shelf Lands Act (OCSLA), alleging injuries to his left elbow, cervical spine, and lumbar spine as the result of an accident that occurred while working on Ram-Powell, a tension-leg fixed platform, located in the Gulf of Mexico in Viosca Knoll Block 956. The parties agreed that under OCSLA the substantive law for injuries occurring on fixed offshore platforms located on the outer continental shelf is the law of the adjacent state. However, they disagreed as to which state’s law applied. Plaintiff argued that Louisiana law should apply as it was the geographically closest to the platform in question. Defendants, on the other hand, asserted that Alabama was the adjacent state and its law should apply, and filed a motion for summary judgment on the issue.