As we have mentioned several times on this blog, and even discussed on our website, most employees in Pennsylvania are covered under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act. However, different groups of employees fall outside this coverage for various reasons. One of those groups, employees who work in maritime industry, was the subject of a recent decision from the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania.
In Savoy v. Workers’ Compensation Appeal Board (Global Associates), the Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania had to decide whether an employee injured on a docked United States Navy vessel was entitled to coverage under both the federal Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (Longshore Act) and the state Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act (Workers’ Compensation Act). When an injured worker can choose among different benefit programs, it is known as “concurrent jurisdiction.”
The injured worker in the Savoy case testified that the Navy vessel was docked at the Philadelphia Navy Yard in a basin (so in the water of the Delaware River). While on the ship, Mr. Savoy, an electrician, tripped and twisted his right knee, suffering a torn right lateral meniscus. A Claim Petition was filed seeking benefits under the Workers’ Compensation Act (the parties agreed that Mr. Savoy was already receiving benefits under the Longshore Act).