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                                 BRB No. 97-0860


DONALD MAGEE                            )
                                        )
          Claimant-Petitioner           )    DATE ISSUED:   01/28/1998

                                        )
     v.                                 )
                                        )
AVONDALE INDUSTRIES                     )
                                        )
          Self-Insured                  )
          Employer-Respondent           )    DECISION and ORDER


     Appeal of the Decision and Order Awarding Benefits and Order Denying
     Claimant's Motion for Reconsideration of James W. Kerr, Jr., 
     Administrative Law Judge, United States Department of Labor.

     Larry E. Broome, New Orleans, Louisiana, for claimant.

     Joseph J. Laventhal, Jr. (Jones, Walker, Wrechter, Poitevent, Carrere &
     Denegre, L.L.P.), New Orleans, Louisiana, for self-insured employer.

     Before: SMITH, BROWN and DOLDER, Administrative Appeals Judges.

     PER CURIAM:

     Claimant appeals the Decision and Order Awarding Benefits and Order Denying
Claimant's Motion for Reconsideration (95-LHC-1885) of Administrative Law Judge
James W. Kerr, Jr., 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).

     On July 14, 1993, claimant sustained injuries to his back, neck and shoulder
while working for employer when he fell from a ladder.  Employer voluntarily paid
claimant medical benefits as well as temporary total disability compensation from
July 15, 1993 through October 3, 1993. See 33 U.S.C. §§907,
908(b).  Claimant thereafter sought permanent total disability compensation under
the Act.


     In his Decision and Order, the administrative law judge determined that if
claimant in fact has fibromyalgia, it is unrelated to the July 14, 1993, work-incident, and that claimant suffered no work-related disability subsequent to
October 16, 1993.  Accordingly, the administrative law judge awarded claimant
temporary total disability compensation from July 15, 1993, until October 16, 1993,
as well as medical benefits. See 33 U.S.C. §§907, 908(b). 
Claimant timely sought reconsideration of this decision by re-filing his post-hearing brief with the administrative law judge.  The administrative law judge
denied claimant's motion in an Order dated February 24, 1997.

     Claimant now appeals the administrative law judge's denial of continuing
benefits.  Employer responds, urging affirmance of the administrative law judge's
Decision and Order.  

     In the instant case, claimant challenges the administrative law judge's denial
of his claim for continuing total disability benefits.  In support of his appeal,
claimant has submitted as his appellate brief a document essentially identical to
the post-hearing and motion for reconsideration memorandum which he filed with the
administrative law judge.  This document, while setting forth the evidence of
record, fails to identify specific errors allegedly committed by the administrative
law judge in his decision; moreover, this document fails  to demonstrate why
substantial evidence does not support the result reached by the administrative law
judge.  Rather, claimant generally asserts that the evidence of record is
sufficient to establish his entitlement to ongoing compensation.  The Board,
however, is precluded from conducting a de novo review of the evidence. 
See generally Nelson v. American Dredging Co., 30 BRBS 205 (1996);
Shoemaker v. Schiavone & Sons, Inc., 20 BRBS 214 (1988).

     Claimant thus has failed to demonstrate error in the administrative law
judge's decision that claimant sustained no compensable disability subsequent to
October 16, 1993.  It is well-established that claimant bears the burden of
establishing the nature and extent of any disability sustained as a result of a
work-related injury. See Anderson v. Todd Shipyards Corp., 22 BRBS 20
(1989); Trask v. Lockheed Shipbuilding & Const. Co., 17 BRBS 56 (1985). 
Contrary to claimant's contention before the administrative law judge, a physical
impairment alone is insufficient to support a finding of total disability; rather,
in order to establish a prima facie  case of total disability, a claimant
must establish that he is incapable of returning to his regular or usual employment
due to his work-related injury. See Blake v. Bethlehem Steel Corp., 21 BRBS
49 (1988).  

     In the instant case, the administrative law judge credited the opinions of
Drs. Russo, Sanders and Bourgeois, based upon these physicians superior
qualifications, rather than the opinion of Dr. Evans, in concluding that claimant
sustained no compensable impairment subsequent to October 16, 1993.  Each of these
credited physicians opined that claimant exhibited no objective findings which
would prohibit his return to work.  Thus, as the administrative law judge's
credibility determinations are rational and within his authority as a factfinder,
and as these credited opinions constitute substantial evidence to support the
administrative law judge's ultimate findings, we affirm the administrative law
judge's determination that claimant sustained no impairment subsequent to October
16, 1993. See generally Cordero v. Triple A Machine Shop, 580 F.2d 1331, 8
BRBS 744 (9th Cir. 1978), cert. denied, 440 U.S. 911 (1979).

     Accordingly, the administrative law judge's Decision and Order Awarding
Benefits and Order Denying Claimant's Motion for Reconsideration are affirmed.

     SO ORDERED.


                                                                   
                         ROY P. SMITH
                         Administrative Appeals Judge



                                                                   
                         JAMES F. BROWN
                         Administrative Appeals Judge



                                                                   
                         NANCY S. DOLDER
                         Administrative Appeals Judge

NOTE: This is an UNPUBLISHED LHCA Document.

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