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The Supreme Court of New Hampshire reversed—for a second time—a decision of the state’s Compensation Appeals Board that had found workers’ compensation carriers for New Hampshire employers could not be required to reimburse an injured worker for the charges associated with medical marijuana. As to whether the federal Controlled Substances Act (CSA), under which even medical marijuana is illegal, the Court said there was no inherent conflict. The CSA did not criminalize the act of insurance reimbursement. As to whether reimbursement amount to “aiding and abetting” a federal crime, the Court turned to Judge Learned Hand, the Court agreed that it was not enough for the defendant to “associate himself with the venture,” he musts also “participate in it as something that he wishes to bring about,” and further “seek by his action to make it succeed [quoting Nye & Nissen v. United States, 336 U.S. 613, 619 (1949)]. Because New Hampshire law unambiguously required the insurer to pay for his medical treatment, an insurer that reimbursed a claimant for the purchase of medical marijuana acted without the volition required by the federal aiding and abetting statute.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the co-Editor-in-Chief and Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law(LexisNexis).
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance.
See Appeal of Panaggio, 2021 N.H. LEXIS 20 (Mar. 2, 2021)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 94.06.
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law
For a more detailed discussion of the case, see
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