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Mississippi Court Indirectly Uses WALSH Jurisdictional Test for WC

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Mississippi Court Uses Walsh Jurisdictional Test (Sort Of)

Alabama and Mississippi were the two choices for the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals. (See yesterday’s article on a bad faith case).   The  Court very likely did not use the WALSH jurisdictional test.   However, the results were the same.  I have actually seen a judge use this test in a decision.

State of Mississippi Judiciary Logo
Wikimedia Commons – User:Connormah

The WALSH jurisdictional test for Workers Compensation claims is a great guide for an adjuster when an accident happens with multiple states involved with a claim.  Employers should also apply it when they are considering whether or not employees are covered by a valid WC policy. 

I have actually seen trucking companies that had a claim denied by a carrier as there was no coverage for a certain state.  Many policies are written on a multi-state basis.  Some are written to cover just one state.  That is why reading the Workers Policy in full will inform an employer whether or not multi-state coverage is in effect.

There are a few states that can cause nightmares for employers with no coverage.   The monopolistic states and states with their own rating bureaus are areas of great concern for jurisdictional coverages.

For instance, if an employer only had West Virginia coverage, but did not have coverage in Ohio, a monopolistic state.  If an employee is injured and files for benefits in Ohio, then what happens to the West Virginia carrier’s policy.   Would they pay out-of-pocket for the employee’s injuries?  Ohio only allows coverage to be written through the Bureau of WC.

The WV employer might have applied the WALSH test to discover certain employees should have been covered by an Ohio policy.

Male Patient Mississippi With Bad Injury On Head
StockUnlimited

From the article on the Alabama/Mississippi case, the WALSH test would have appeared similar to this:

  • Worked – Mississippi
  • Accident – Mississippi
  • Lived – Mississippi
  • Salaried – Alabama
  • Hired – Alabama

The most important factor is where the employee worked most of the time.   The least is where the employee was hired – the location of the contract of employment.  Mississippi is easily the correct jurisdiction.

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James Moore

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Mgmt Consultants, Inc. in 1996. J&L’s mission is to reduce our clients’ Workers Compensation premiums by using time-tested techniques. J&L’s claims, premium, reserve and Experience Mod reviews have saved employers over $9.8 million in earned premiums over the last three years. J&L has saved numerous companies from bankruptcy proceedings as a result of insurance overpayments.

James has over 27 years of experience in insurance claims, audit, and underwriting, specializing in Workers’ Compensation. He has supervised, and managed the administration of Workers’ Compensation claims, and underwriting in over 45 states. His professional experience includes being the Director of Risk Management for the North Carolina School Boards Association. He created a very successful Workers’ Compensation Injury Rehabilitation Unit for school personnel.

James’s educational background, which centered on computer technology, culminated in earning a Masters of Business Administration (MBA); an Associate in Claims designation (AIC); and an Associate in Risk Management designation (ARM). He is a Chartered Financial Consultant (ChFC) and a licensed financial advisor. The NC Department of Insurance has certified him as an insurance instructor. He also possesses a Bachelors’ Degree in Actuarial Science.

LexisNexis has twice recognized his blog as one of the Top 25 Blogs on Workers’ Compensation. J&L has been listed in AM Best’s Preferred Providers Directory for Insurance Experts – Workers Compensation for over eight years. He recently won the prestigious Baucom Shine Lifetime Achievement Award for his volunteer contributions to the area of risk management and safety. James was recently named as an instructor for the prestigious Insurance Academy.

James is on the Board of Directors and Treasurer of the North Carolina Mid-State Safety Council. He has published two manuals on Workers’ Compensation and three different claims processing manuals. He has also written and has been quoted in numerous articles on reducing Workers’ Compensation costs for public and private employers. James publishes a weekly newsletter with 7,000 readers.

He currently possess press credentials and am invited to various national Workers Compensation conferences as a reporter.

James’s articles or interviews on Workers’ Compensation have appeared in the following publications or websites:

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  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
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