FROM LABOR AND INDUSTRIAL RELATIONS APPEALS BOARD (CASE NO.
AB 2014-352; DCD NO. 2-14-03204)
Bosworth, Claimant-Appellant, self-represented.
G. Leong, Shawn L.M. Benton, Karolina A. Turska, for
Employer-Appellee and Insurance Carrier-Appellee.
GINOZA, CHIEF JUDGE, LEONARD AND CHAN, JJ.
appeal, Claimant-Appellant Larry Bosworth
(Bosworth), who is self-represented, appeals
from the "Decision and Order" (Order
Denying Appeal) entered by the State of Hawai'i
Labor and Industrial Relations Appeals Board
(LIRAB) on March 8, 2016, in favor of
Employer-Appellee Foss Maritime Company and Insurance
Carrier-Appellee Acclaim Risk Management
(collectively, Foss Maritime). The Order
Denying Appeal affirmed the decision and order issued by the
Director of Labor and Industrial Relations
(Director) on October 10, 2014, which,
inter alia, denied Bosworth's claim for
workers' compensation benefits under Hawaii Revised
Statutes (HRS) Chapter 386 for an alleged
injury that he sustained while employed by Foss Maritime.
what we can discern,  Bosworth contends on appeal that the LIRAB
erred by: (1) concluding that the LIRAB lacked jurisdiction
under HRS § 386-7 (2015) because Bosworth's work
injuries were covered or "provided for" under
federal law; and (2) determining that Bosworth was a
"seaman" under 46 U.S.C. § 30104 (the
reasons discussed below, we affirm.
February 28, 2014, Bosworth filed a claim with the State of
Hawai'i Department of Labor and Industrial Relations
Disability Compensation Division alleging that on January 11,
2014, he sustained various mental health injuries related to
"stress due to management pressure while preforming
[sic] duties[.]" Bosworth's claim stated that his
occupation with Foss Maritime was as a "Class II Tug
Operator", and that his injuries were sustained "on
Tug in Harbor."
October 10, 2014, the Director entered a written decision
finding, inter alia, that at the time of his injury,
Bosworth was a "seaman" as contemplated under the
Jones Act, and thus his work injury was covered under federal
law. The Director, relying on HRS § 386-7, the Jones
Act, and Bosworth's testimony, concluded that Bosworth
"does not have a compensable claim as he is not under
the jurisdiction of the State of Hawaii and is in the
jurisdiction of the Jones Act." The Director thus denied
Bosworth's claim for workers' compensation benefits.
October 29, 2014, Bosworth appealed the Director's
decision to the LIRAB. On October 7, 2015, the LIRAB
conducted an evidentiary hearing on Boswowrth's appeal.
On March 8, 2016, the LIRAB entered its Order Denying Appeal,
concluding, inter alia, that Bosworth was a
"seaman" under the Jones Act, and his injury was
"provided for" under federal law. The LIRAB thus
concluded that it lacked jurisdiction over Bosworth's
claim under HRS § 386-7. This appeal follows.
Standard of review
Review of a LIRAB decision is governed by HRS § 91-14
(g) . Capua v. Weyerhaeuser Co., 117 Hawai'i
439, 444, 184 P.3d 191, 196 (2008). At the time of
Bosworth's appeal, HRS § 91-14 (g) (2012) provided:
§91-14 Judicial review of contested
(g) Upon review of the record the court may affirm the
decision of the agency or remand the case with instructions
for further proceedings; or it may reverse or modify the
decision and order if the substantial rights of the
petitioners may have been prejudiced because the
administrative findings, conclusions, decisions, or orders
(1) In violation of constitutional or statutory provisions;
(2) In excess of the statutory authority or jurisdiction of
the agency; or
(3) Made upon unlawful procedure; or
(4) Affected by other error of law; or
(5) Clearly erroneous in view of the reliable, probative, and
substantial evidence on the whole record; or
(6) Arbitrary, or capricious, or characterized by abuse of
discretion or clearly unwarranted exercise of discretion.
"Under HRS § 91-14(g), conclusions of law
(COLs) are reviewable under subsections (1),
(2), and (4); questions regarding procedural defects are
reviewable under subsection (3). A COL is not binding on an
appellate court and is freely reviewable for its correctness.
Thus, the court reviews COLs de novo, under the
right/wrong standard." Capua, 117 Hawai'i
at 444, 184 P.3d at 196 ...