Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs v. Newport News Shipbuilding & Dry Dock Co., 514 U.S. 122, 10 (1995)

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Cite as: 514 U. S. 122 (1995)

Opinion of the Court

rules and regulations for calculation of benefits and processing of claims, 33 U. S. C. 906, 908-910, 914, 919, 930, and 939; (2) supervising, administering, and making rules and regulations for provision of medical care to covered workers, 907; (3) assisting claimants with processing claims and receiving medical and vocational rehabilitation, 939(c); and (4) enforcing compensation orders and administering payments to and disbursements from the special fund established by the Act for the payment of certain benefits, 921(d) and 944. The Director does not assert that the Board's decision hampers her performance of these express statutory responsibilities. She claims only two categories of interest that are affected, neither of which remotely suggests that she has authority to appeal Board determinations.

First, the Director claims that because the LHWCA "has many of the elements of social insurance, and as such is designed to promote the public interest," Brief for Petitioner 17, she has standing to "advance in federal court the public interest in ensuring adequate compensation payments to claimants," id., at 18. It is doubtful, to begin with, that the goal of the LHWCA is simply the support of disabled workers. In fact, we have said that, because "the LHWCA represents a compromise between the competing interests of disabled laborers and their employers," it "is not correct to interpret the Act as guaranteeing a completely adequate remedy for all covered disabilities." Potomac Elec. Power Co. v. Director, Office of Workers' Compensation Programs, 449 U. S. 268, 282 (1980). The LHWCA is a scheme for fair and efficient resolution of a class of private disputes, managed and arbitered by the Government. It represents a "quid pro quo between employer and employee. Employers relinquish certain legal rights which the law affords to them and so, in turn, do the employees." 1 M. Norris, The Law of Maritime Personal Injuries 4.1, p. 106 (4th ed. 1990) (emphasis added).


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