Maritime Wrongful Death Case Win Against Lockheed
- A test engineer employed by Lockheed Martin Naval Electronic & Surveillance Systems suffered a fatal accident while conducting underwater tests for Lockheed Martin.
- Kreindler argued that the decedent was a longshoreman
who was covered under the Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act
(LHWCA) thus allowing his widow to bring suit against the boat’s
owner, Lockheed Martin.
& Kreindler recently won a significant maritime legal battle in the
United States Supreme Court. The victory cleared the way for the widow of a
Lockheed Martin employee to bring suit against Lockheed Martin for his drowning
death in Cayuga Lake in upstate New York.
December 20, 2000, Rocco Morganti, a test engineer employed by Lockheed Martin
Naval Electronic & Surveillance Systems for 15 years, suffered a fatal
accident on a work boat returning him to shore on Cayuga Lake. Mr. Morganti was
conducting underwater tests of Lockheed transducers (a component required for
sonar equipment used by the U.S. Navy) on Lockheed’s floating work platform on
Cayuga Lake when he fell into the icy waters while untying the
boat. Rescue efforts failed, Mr. Morganti drowned and his body was later recovered.
While other law firms who reviewed the case concluded that any action against Lockheed Martin would be barred by New York State Worker’s Compensation law, Kreindler & Kreindler argued that the decedent was a Longshoreman who was covered under the Longshore Harbor Workers Compensation Act (LHWCA) and, therefore, his widow should be entitled to bring suit against Lockheed Martin who owned the vessel from which he fell into Cayuga Lake.
Review Board which hears LHWCA case appeals agreed with our position.
Lockheed Martin then appealed that ruling to the United States Court of Appeals
for the Second Circuit. The Second Circuit, after hearing oral argument from
Kreindler partner Daniel Rose, issued an opinion on June 24, 2005, affirming The