The National Steel and Shipbuilding Company (NASSCO) occupies a complicated position on the U.S. industrial landscape. This huge shipyard in San Diego is owned by General Dynamics, one of the biggest companies in the military-industrial complex, which supplies a huge chunk of the U.S. Navy fleet. For all intents and purposes, you can argue that NASSCO is managed directly by the U.S. Navy, but the good news for its employees is that it’s technically owned by a private company—and thus, its employees have recourse under the Longshore and Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) in the event of injuries or accidents.
The largest shipyard in the western U.S. devoted to building new vessels, NASSCO employs thousands of workers, the vast majority of which are employed in potentially dangerous “assembly-line” type jobs (welding, hammering rivets, laying beams, etc.) In fact, the same potential hazards and injuries plague NASSCO as any large factory on the mainland: repetitive stress injuries, trauma due to falling beams or other materials, and exposure to toxic chemicals, to name just three. The fast pace imposed on workers, as well as enduring personnel issues (the shipyard has laid off hundreds of workers over the last few years), have made NASSCO one of the most dangerous employers in the United States.
If you have been injured while working at NASSCO, you may be eligible to receive financial compensation under the LHWCA. At a minimum, injured or sidelined workers should be entitled to medical expenses and a portion of the income forfeited due to lost time while recuperating from long-term injuries. The LHWCA also opens the door to suing General Dynamics on the grounds of negligence or recklessness, which may result in increased (and sometimes punitive) damages.
Only an experienced maritime lawyer can tell you what the best strategy is for filing a NASSCO-related claim. Mr. Easly devotes his entire practice to maritime injury law and has the experience you need to get the compensation you deserve. For a free initial consultation, call or email our law firm today.