Maine Workers’ Compensation Alert: WC Board Appellate Division Update

In Bolstridge v. AGM Marine Contractors, Inc., Me. WCB App. Div. No. 14-14, the Appellate Division overturned a WCB decision which had found the WCB had personal jurisdiction over AGM Marine, a Massachusetts corporation.

Bolstridge, a Maine resident, traveled to Massachusetts to apply for and work at an AGM Marine job in Massachusetts. AGM Marine last worked in Maine in 1993 and had not bid on jobs in Maine since then. Following a 2002 injury, Bolstridge received and exhausted Longshore benefits. He then sought benefits under the Maine Workers' Compensation Act. The Maine Workers' Compensation Board found personal jurisdiction over AGM Marine appropriate and awarded benefits. The appeal followed.

The Appellate Division found the WCB's exercise of personal jurisdiction over AGM Marine in Maine inappropriate. Performing a single job in Maine in 1993, merely registering to do business in Maine since 1989, and making representations on its website that it is available to work in a region that includes Maine, "do not add up to a greater quantum of contacts required to support personal jurisdiction over a foreign employer, particularly when the injury occurred and the employment arrangement was negotiated and entered into outside the State."

The case was handled by Preti Flaherty.

For more information on this case, or to learn more about Preti Flaherty's Workers' Compensation Group, contact any of our Workers' Compensation attorneys.