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WALSH Jurisdiction Test – North Carolina Court Of Appeals

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North Carolina Court of Appeals and the WALSH Jurisdiction Test

The WALSH Jurisdiction Test for Workers Compensation has always seemed to work when multi-jurisdictions (states) are involved in a claim.  One of the most recent cases concerning the WALSH Jurisdictional test occurred in North Carolina at the appellate level.

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If you are not familiar with the WALSH test, click on the link to find out more.  The test is basically: Worked, Accident, Lived, Salaried, and Hired.  By using the first letter of each of these considerations, the name WALSH is noted.

The case  Taylor v. Howard Transportation is one of those very difficult claims where a truck driver can have many states’ jurisdictions involved in making the final determination.

The following is a passage from the North Carolina appeals court decision.

B. Analysis

N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-36 provides:

Where an accident happens while the employee is employed elsewhere than in this State (Salaried) and the accident is one which would entitle him or his dependents or next of kin to compensation if it had happened in this State (Accident), then the employee or his dependents or next of kin shall be entitled to compensation

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(i) if the contract of employment was made in this State,  (Hired)

(ii) if the employer’s principal place of business is in this State(Salaried), or

(iii) if the employee’s principal place of employment is within this State[.] N.C. Gen. Stat. § 97-36 (2013). (Worked)

Neither HT’s principal place of business nor plaintiff’s principal place of employment was in North Carolina. Thus, in order for the Commission to have subject-matter jurisdiction, plaintiff’s contract of employment (Hired) must have been made in North Carolina. See id.

“To determine where a contract for employment was made, the Commission and the courts of this state apply the ‘last act’ test. For a contract to be made in North Carolina, the final act necessary  to make it a binding obligation must be done here.” 

As one can see the WALSH jurisdiction test was applied by the Court in a roundabout method.   The WALSH test is difficult to apply with truckers.  They cover so many states in their travels and may be hired out of a distant terminal North Carolina jurisdiction was denied in this case by the NC Court of Appeals.

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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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