33 U.S. Code § 933 - Compensation for injuries where third persons are liable

(a) Election of remedies
If on account of a disability or death for which compensation is payable under this chapter the person entitled to such compensation determines that some person other than the employer or a person or persons in his employ is liable in damages, he need not elect whether to receive such compensation or to recover damages against such third person.
(b) Acceptance of compensation operating as assignment
Acceptance of compensation under an award in a compensation order filed by the deputy commissioner, an administrative law judge, or the Board shall operate as an assignment to the employer of all rights of the person entitled to compensation to recover damages against such third person unless such person shall commence an action against such third person within six months after such acceptance. If the employer fails to commence an action against such third person within ninety days after the cause of action is assigned under this section, the right to bring such action shall revert to the person entitled to compensation. For the purpose of this subsection, the term “award” with respect to a compensation order means a formal order issued by the deputy commissioner, an administrative law judge, or Board.
(c) Payment into section 944 fund operating as assignment
The payment of such compensation into the fund established in section 944 of this title shall operate as an assignment to the employer of all right of the legal representative of the deceased (hereinafter referred to as “representative”) to recover damages against such third person.
(d) Institution of proceedings or compromise by assignee
Such employer on account of such assignment may either institute proceedings for the recovery of such damages or may compromise with such third person either without or after instituting such proceeding.
(e) Recoveries by assignee
Any amount recovered by such employer on account of such assignment, whether or not as the result of a compromise, shall be distributed as follows:
(1) The employer shall retain an amount equal to—
(A) the expenses incurred by him in respect to such proceedings or compromise (including a reasonable attorney’s fee as determined by the deputy commissioner or Board);
(B) the cost of all benefits actually furnished by him to the employee under section 907 of this title;
(C) all amounts paid as compensation;
(D) the present value of all amounts thereafter payable as compensation, such present value to be computed in accordance with a schedule prepared by the Secretary, and the present value of the cost of all benefits thereafter to be furnished under section 907 of this title, to be estimated by the deputy commissioner, and the amounts so computed and estimated to be retained by the employer as a trust fund to pay such compensation and the cost of such benefits as they become due, and to pay any sum finally remaining in excess thereof to the person entitled to compensation or to the representative; and
(2) The employer shall pay any excess to the person entitled to compensation or to the representative.
(f) Institution of proceedings by person entitled to compensation
If the person entitled to compensation institutes proceedings within the period prescribed in subsection (b) of this section the employer shall be required to pay as compensation under this chapter a sum equal to the excess of the amount which the Secretary determines is payable on account of such injury or death over the net amount recovered against such third person. Such net amount shall be equal to the actual amount recovered less the expenses reasonably incurred by such person in respect to such proceedings (including reasonable attorneys’ fees).
(g) Compromise obtained by person entitled to compensation
(1) If the person entitled to compensation (or the person’s representative) enters into a settlement with a third person referred to in subsection (a) of this section for an amount less than the compensation to which the person (or the person’s representative) would be entitled under this chapter, the employer shall be liable for compensation as determined under subsection (f) of this section only if written approval of the settlement is obtained from the employer and the employer’s carrier, before the settlement is executed, and by the person entitled to compensation (or the person’s representative). The approval shall be made on a form provided by the Secretary and shall be filed in the office of the deputy commissioner within thirty days after the settlement is entered into.
(2) If no written approval of the settlement is obtained and filed as required by paragraph (1), or if the employee fails to notify the employer of any settlement obtained from or judgment rendered against a third person, all rights to compensation and medical benefits under this chapter shall be terminated, regardless of whether the employer or the employer’s insurer has made payments or acknowledged entitlement to benefits under this chapter.
(3) Any payments by the special fund established under section 944 of this title shall be a lien upon the proceeds of any settlement obtained from or judgment rendered against a third person referred to under subsection (a) of this section. Notwithstanding any other provision of law, such lien shall be enforceable against such proceeds, regardless of whether the Secretary on behalf of the special fund has agreed to or has received actual notice of the settlement or judgment.
(4) Any payments by a trust fund described in section 917 of this title shall be a lien upon the proceeds of any settlement obtained from or judgment recorded against a third person referred to under subsection (a) of this section. Such lien shall have priority over a lien under paragraph (3) of this subsection.
(h) Subrogation
Where the employer is insured and the insurance carrier has assumed the payment of the compensation, the insurance carrier shall be subrogated to all the rights of the employer under this section.
(i) Right to compensation as exclusive remedy
The right to compensation or benefits under this chapter shall be the exclusive remedy to an employee when he is injured, or to his eligible survivors or legal representatives if he is killed, by the negligence or wrong of any other person or persons in the same employ: Provided, That this provision shall not affect the liability of a person other than an officer or employee of the employer.

Source

(Mar. 4, 1927, ch. 509, § 33,44 Stat. 1440; June 25, 1938, ch. 685, §§ 12, 13,52 Stat. 1168; Pub. L. 86–171, Aug. 18, 1959, 73 Stat. 391; Pub. L. 92–576, § 15(f)–(h), Oct. 27, 1972, 86 Stat. 1262; Pub. L. 98–426, § 21,Sept. 28, 1984, 98 Stat. 1652.)
Amendments

1984—Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 98–426, § 21(a), substituted “Acceptance of compensation under an award in a compensation order filed by the deputy commissioner, an administrative law judge, or the Board shall operate as an assignment to the employer of all rights of the person entitled to compensation to recover damages against such third person unless such person shall commence an action against such third person within six months after such acceptance” for “Acceptance of such compensation under an award in a compensation order filed by the deputy commissioner or Board shall operate as an assignment to the employer of all right of the person entitled to compensation to recover damages against such third person unless such person shall commence an action against such third person within six months after such award” and inserted at end “If the employer fails to commence an action against such third person within ninety days after the cause of action is assigned under this section, the right to bring such action shall revert to the person entitled to compensation. For the purpose of this subsection, the term ‘award’ with respect to a compensation order means a formal order issued by the deputy commissioner, an administrative law judge, or Board.”
Subsec. (e)(2). Pub. L. 98–426, § 21(b), struck out “, less one-fifth of such excess which shall belong to the employer” after “or to the representative”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 98–426, § 21(c)(1), inserted “net” before “amount recovered”.
Pub. L. 98–426, § 21(c)(2), inserted at end “Such net amount shall be equal to the actual amount recovered less the expenses reasonably incurred by such person in respect to such proceedings (including reasonable attorneys’ fees).”
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 98–426, § 21(d), designated existing provisions as par. (1), substituted “If the person entitled to compensation (or the person’s representative) enters into a settlement with a third person referred to in subsection (a) of this section for an amount less than the compensation to which the person (or the person’s representative) would be entitled under this chapter, the employer shall be liable for compensation as determined under subsection (f) of this section only if written approval of the settlement is obtained from the employer and the employer’s carrier, before the settlement is executed, and by the person entitled to compensation (or the person’s representative)” for “If compromise with such third person is made by the person entitled to compensation or such representative of an amount less than the compensation to which such person or representative would be entitled to under this chapter the employer shall be liable for compensation as determined in subsection (f) of this section only if the written approval of such compromise is obtained from the employer and its insurance carrier by the person entitled to compensation or such representative at the time of or prior to such compromise on a form provided by the Secretary and filed in the office of the deputy commissioner having jurisdiction of such injury or death within thirty days after such compromise is made”, inserted at end “The approval shall be made on a form provided by the Secretary and shall be filed in the office of the deputy commissioner within thirty days after the settlement is entered into.”, and added pars. (2) to (4).
1972—Subsecs. (b), (e)(1)(A). Pub. L. 92–576, § 15(f), (g), inserted “or Board” after “deputy commissioner”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 92–576, § 15(h), substituted “if the written approval of such compromise is obtained from the employer and its insurance carrier by the person entitled to compensation or such representative at the time of or prior to such compromise on a form provided by the Secretary and filed in the office of the deputy commissioner having jurisdiction of such injury or death within thirty days after such compromise is made” for “if such compromise is made with his written approval”.
1959—Subsec. (a). Pub. L. 86–171inserted “or a person or persons in his employ” after “employer” and substituted “he need not elect whether” for “he may elect, by giving notice to the deputy commissioner in such manner as the Secretary may provide,”.
Subsec. (b). Pub. L. 86–171inserted “unless such person shall commence an action against such third person within six months after such award”.
Subsec. (c). Pub. L. 86–171struck out “, whether or not the representative has notified the deputy commissioner of his election” after “third person”.
Subsec. (d). Pub. L. 86–171reenacted subsec. (d) without change.
Subsec. (e). Pub. L. 86–171substituted “Secretary” for “Commission” in par. (1)(D) and inserted in par. (2) “less one-fifth of such excess which shall belong to the employer”.
Subsec. (f). Pub. L. 86–171struck out “or the representative elects to recover damages against such third person and notifies the Secretary of his election and” before “institutes” and substituted “subsection (b) of this section” for “section 913 of this title” and “Secretary” for “Commission”.
Subsec. (g). Pub. L. 86–171corrected reference to “subsection (e)” to read “subsection (f)”.
Subsecs. (h), (i). Pub. L. 86–171redesignated subsec. (i) as (h) and struck out former subsec. (h) that permitted the deputy commissioner to make an election for a minor or to authorize the parent or guardian to make the election.
1938—Subsec. (b). Act June 25, 1938, § 12, inserted “under an award in a compensation order filed by the deputy commissioner” and struck out “, whether or not the person entitled to compensation has notified the deputy commissioner of his election” at end of sentence.
Subsec. (e). Act June 25, 1938, § 12, redesignated par. (1)(C) as par. (1)(C) and (D) and included in said par. (1)(D) the present value of the cost of benefits furnished.
Subsec. (i). Act June 25, 1938, § 13, added subsec. (i).
Effective Date of 1984 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 98–426effective Sept. 28, 1984, and applicable both with respect to claims filed after such date and to claims pending on such date, see section 28(a) ofPub. L. 98–426, set out as a note under section 901 of this title.
Effective Date of 1972 Amendment

Amendment by Pub. L. 92–576effective 30 days after Oct. 27, 1972, see section 22 ofPub. L. 92–576, set out as a note under section 902 of this title.

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20 CFR - Employees' Benefits

20 CFR Part 718 - STANDARDS FOR DETERMINING COAL MINERS' TOTAL DISABILITY OR DEATH DUE TO PNEUMOCONIOSIS

20 CFR Part 722 - CRITERIA FOR DETERMINING WHETHER STATE WORKERS' COMPENSATION LAWS PROVIDE ADEQUATE COVERAGE FOR PNEUMOCONIOSIS AND LISTING OF APPROVED STATE LAWS

20 CFR Part 725 - CLAIMS FOR BENEFITS UNDER PART C OF TITLE IV OF THE FEDERAL MINE SAFETY AND HEALTH ACT, AS AMENDED

20 CFR Part 726 - BLACK LUNG BENEFITS; REQUIREMENTS FOR COAL MINE OPERATOR'S INSURANCE

20 CFR Part 801 - ESTABLISHMENT AND OPERATION OF THE BOARD

20 CFR Part 802 - RULES OF PRACTICE AND PROCEDURE

 

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