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WALSH Test For Jurisdiction Appears Again in North Carolina


North Carolina WALSH Test For Jurisdiction

The WALSH test for jurisdiction in Work Comp claims has shown itself in a North Carolina Court of Appeals case. I was taught this very important test when I was an adjuster trainee some time ago for a major carrier.

Graphic of WALSH Test For Jurisdiction Globe and weighing scale background

I find it amazing that the courts have almost unanimously agreed on the WALSH test for jurisdiction.  I first saw an Oklahoma Workers Comp judge use almost the exact acronym when deciding jurisdiction.

Two main articles authored in this website are:

WALSH -Five Tests for Jurisdiction

The Best Test For Multi-jurisdictions 

There are many more articles written by me on this subject.  Jurisdictions are so very important when attempting to properly adjust a workers comp claim where the employee works, lives, or other conditions which point to more than one state.  I was the first one to point out this very great tool in an article.


Worked – Where did the employee work a majority of the time?

Accident – In which State did the accident occur?

Gavel WALSH Test For Jurisdiction In Court Room

Lived – Where did the employee live most of the time or where is the employee’s true home?

Salaried – Where was the employee paid out of each pay period

Hired – Where was the employee hired from – or from where was the job offer made?

One very important point is to remember that the most important consideration is Worked with Hired being the least.  If something works in the Work Comp claims area, I will always attempt to point it out multiple times such as 3 point 24 hour contact. 

The North Carolina Court of Appeals applied the same test with a slight different angle.  The North Carolina Industrial Commission ruled they had no jurisdiction.   The case was then appealed.

The case was MARTHA HOLMES, Employee, Plaintiff v.  ASSOCIATED PIPE LINE CONTRACTORS, INC.  and others   Click on the case to receive a download of the PDF file.  If you do not have a PDF reader for your computer, tablet, or phone, please go to Adobe and download the proper reader.

The case seemed to hinge on in which state did the employer and employee finalize the employment contract?   A drug test was one of the major factors.

If we take a step back and look at the file the WALSH test for jurisdiction showed that Martha Holmes:

Defense Lawyer WALSH Test For Jurisdiction With Client In Court
  • Worked  – Texas
  • Accident – Texas
  • Lived – North Carolina
  • Salaried – Texas
  • Hired – Texas

I will digress and let you read about the case and make your own decisions.  The main goal here was to once again mention the almost infallible test for jurisdiction.  Please note that I am not drawing any legal conclusions.  I was just reiterating the likely path followed by the claims staff.

A tip of the hat to WorkCompCentral for  pointing out his interesting case.

If you do not use or want to remember the WALSH test for jurisdictions which has not failed me for 30 years, please feel free to print or save this article or one of the other two articles that I linked to above.

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James J Moore - Workers Comp Expert

Raleigh, NC, United States

About The Author...

James founded a Workers’ Compensation consulting firm, J&L Risk Management 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:

  • Risk and Insurance Management Society (RIMS)
  • Entrepreneur Magazine
  • Bloomberg Business News
  • WorkCompCentral.com
  • Claims Magazine
  • Risk & Insurance Magazine
  • Insurance Journal
  • Workers Compensation.com
  • LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook and other social media sites
  • Various trade publications


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