Investigating Jurisdiction Defenses in Medical Provider Claims Concerning Construction Workers in New Jersey
New Jersey can exercise jurisdiction over a medical provider claim if they can exercise jurisdiction over the underlying claim.
The New Jersey Appellate Division set forth six factors to determine whether a New Jersey court is able to exercise jurisdiction over a medical provider claim.
Claims involving construction workers or union employees require a specific investigation to secure a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
Current Case Law
On October 27, 2020, the New Jersey Appellate Division issued an unpublished decision that set forth the framework to determine whether a New Jersey court can exercise jurisdiction over a medical-provider bill dispute. In Anesthesia Assocs. of Morristown v. Weinstein Supply Corp., 2020 N.J. Super. Unpub. Lexis 1892, the appellate court reiterated that in order to exercise jurisdiction over the medical provider claim, the court must also be able to exercise jurisdiction over the underlying workers’ compensation claim, as the medical provider claim is related to the workers’ compensation claim.
The Appellate Division set forth six (6) factors that a court must weigh in determining whether it may exercise jurisdiction over the medical-bill dispute.
(1) Place where the injury occurred;
(2) Place of making the contract;
(3) Place where the employment relation exists or is carried out;
(4) Place where the industry is localized;
(5) Place where the employee resides, and
(6) Place whose statute the parties expressly adopted by contract.
From a practical perspective, the employer need only concern themselves with the location of the accident, the location of hire, and location where employment duties are carried out. New Jersey residence alone is insufficient. Generally, the New York C-3 and/or First Report of Injury can provide all the necessary information to secure a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction.
Although the Appellate Division is not binding precedent as it was an unpublished decision, generally, most judges rely upon the Anesthesia decision as guidance for determining whether they can exercise jurisdiction over a medical-provider claim.
How to conduct an investigation in the context of union employees
In the context of construction workers the employer needs to conduct an investigation to demonstrate to the New Jersey Court there is no connection to New Jersey. Since construction workers, truck drivers, and delivery drivers are mobile in nature, the employer needs to provide more than just the standard C-3 or First Report of Injury. Typically, the location of the accident is not the only location where the claimant performs their employment duties.
The simplest factor to investigate is the location of the accident. Performing this investigation before a New Jersey medical-provider claim is filed can be the basis to explain to the New Jersey-based medical provider that this claim cannot be pursued in New Jersey. A signed certification from a direct supervisor, human resources, or any employer representative with the requisite firsthand knowledge is the basis for a motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. Additional information such as union information, work duties, and location of hire may assist us in defending the claim and obtaining a dismissal.
Union membership information is needed to assess whether the claimant’s location of hire is in New Jersey or New York. Additionally, information concerning where the claimant performed employment duties is needed to properly evaluate the location of where the employment duties are carried out.
If the medical provider files the claim in New Jersey, then production of this information to counsel at the time of referral will help expedite the process in securing a dismissal for lack of jurisdiction in New Jersey.
If you have any questions about New Jersey medical-provider claims or how they impact your business, please contact: