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                                    BRB No. 00-0506

KENNETH FLINT                           )
          Claimant-Petitioner           )
     v.                                 )
NORTH FLORIDA SHIPYARDS                 )    DATE ISSUED:   02/02/2001
     and                                )
ARM INSURANCE SERVICES                  )
          Employer/Carrier-             )
          Respondents                   )    DECISION and ORDER

     Appeal of the Decision and Order Denying Benefits of Pamela Lakes Wood,
     Administrative Law Judge, United States Department of Labor.

     Douglas E. Daze, Jacksonville, Florida, for claimant.

     Mary Nelson Morgan (Cole, Stone, Stoudemire, Morgan & Dore, P.A.),
     Jacksonville, Florida, for employer/carrier.
     Before: SMITH, McGRANERY and McATEER, Administrative Appeals Judges.

     PER CURIAM:  

     Claimant appeals the Decision and Order Denying Benefits (92-LHC-1592, 94-LHC-3198, 97-LHC-1997) of Administrative Law Judge Pamela Lakes Wood rendered on a
claim filed pursuant to the provisions of the Longshore and Harbor Workers'
Compensation Act, as amended, 33 U.S.C. §901 et seq. (the Act).  We
must affirm the findings of fact and conclusions of law of the administrative law
judge which are rational, supported by substantial evidence, and in accordance with
law.  O'Keeffe v. Smith, Hinchman & Grylls Associates, Inc., 380 U.S. 359
(1965); 33 U.S.C. §921(b)(3).  

     Claimant worked for employer as an electrician from 1975 to 1991.  Claimant
injured his left knee during the course of his employment for employer in 1987. 
Claimant has undergone multiple surgeries for his left knee condition, culminating
in the total replacement of his left knee joint on August 21, 1997.  Claimant also
underwent major heart surgery after his discharge from employer in 1991, and he
began experiencing breathing difficulties, which he attributed to asbestos exposure
during the course of his employment for employer.  Claimant filed a claim against
employer in 1993 for a  work-related hearing loss.  Employer voluntarily
compensated claimant for various periods of temporary total disability related to
his left knee injury, 33 U.S.C. §908(b), and for permanent partial disability
resulting from claimant's left knee impairment and work-related hearing loss, 33
U.S.C. §§908(c)(2),(13),(19).  Claimant asserted he sustained a
compensable injury from work-related asbestos exposure,  and he sought benefits
under the Act for permanent total disability allegedly caused by his work-related
left knee injury, hearing loss, and asbestos exposure. See 33 U.S.C.

     In her decision, the administrative law judge found, based on the evidence as
a whole, that claimant does not have any disease from asbestos exposure.  The
administrative law judge next found that claimant is not permanently totally
disabled due to the combination of his work-related knee injury and hearing loss. 
Specifically, the administrative law judge found that, while claimant is unable to
return to his usual employment as an electrician, employer established the
availability of suitable alternate employment.   Finally, the administrative law
judge found that claimant failed to show he had made a diligent search for suitable
alternate employment.  Accordingly, the administrative law judge concluded that 
claimant is not entitled to compensation for permanent total disability, and that
claimant has been fully compensated for his scheduled permanent partial

     On appeal, claimant challenges the administrative law judge's denial of
benefits.  Employer responds, urging affirmance. 

     Claimant alleges that he is totally incapacitated for any work, and that
therefore the administrative law judge erred in denying him compensation for total
disability.  Claimant asserts that he is unable to perform the duties of the jobs
identified in employer's labor market survey and that employer did not obtain any
actual job offers for claimant.   

     Section 802.211(b) of the Board's regulations states, in pertinent part:

     Each petition for review shall be accompanied by a supporting brief . . . which:  Specifically states the issues
     to be considered by the Board; presents . . . an argument with respect to each issue presented with references
     [to the record]; a short conclusion stating the precise result the petitioner seeks on each issue and any
     authorities upon which the petition relies to support such proposed result.

20 C.F.R. §802.211(b).   The Board has stated previously that a brief filed by a party represented by counsel must
address why the administrative law judge's decision is not supported by substantial evidence or in accordance with law. 
The brief  must include a discussion of the relevant law and evidence. Collins v. Oceanic Butler, Inc., 23 BRBS
227, 229 (1990);  Shoemaker v. Schiavone & Sons, Inc., 20 BRBS 214, 218 (1988).  "[M]ere assignment of error
is not sufficient to invoke Board review." Carnegie v. C&P Telephone Co., 19 BRBS 57, 58-59 (1986).

     In his brief,  claimant generally asserts that he is unable to perform the jobs identified in employer's labor market
survey.   Claimant, however, fails to allege any specific error in the administrative law judge's crediting of  the labor market
survey, or in her reasoning that claimant is capable of performing 13 of the 16 positions identified therein based on the
opinion of Dr. Rukab, who performed the knee replacement surgery, and opined that the jobs are within  claimant's
capabilities.  Claimant's mere citation to general propositions of law and to evidence favorable to his claim is insufficient
to invoke the Board's review.   Plappert v. Marine Corps Exchange, 31 BRBS 109 (1997), aff'g on recon. en
banc 31 BRBS 19 (1997); Carnegie, 19 BRBS at 59; 20 C.F.R. §802.211(b).  As claimant has not raised
any substantial issues for the Board to review, the decision below must be affirmed.[1]   Collins, 23 BRBS at 229; Carnegie, 19 BRBS at 59. 
     Accordingly, the administrative law judge's Decision and Order Denying Benefits is affirmed.


                         ROY P. SMITH
                         Administrative Appeals Judge

                         REGINA C. McGRANERY
                         Administrative Appeals Judge

                         J. DAVITT McATEER
                         Administrative Appeals Judge

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1)We note that employer is not obligated to obtain an actual job offer for claimant in order to establish the availability of suitable alternate employment. New Orleans (Gulfwide) Stevedores v. Turner, 661 F.2d 1031, 14 BRBS 156 (5th Cir. 1981). Back to Text

NOTE: This is an UNPUBLISHED LHCA Document.

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