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Arkansas: Commission, Not Trial Court, Has Subject-Matter Jurisdiction Once Exclusive Remedy Issue is Raised

February 08, 2019 (1 min read)

An Arkansas trial court erred in concluding that it had subject-matter jurisdiction over the employee's complaint in which it was alleged that the defendant employed the plaintiff but failed to secure workers’ compensation benefits for the employees. The appellate court held that under clear precedent, the state’s Workers' Compensation Commission had exclusive, original jurisdiction to determine the facts that established subject-matter jurisdiction. The employee had raised the issue himself; thus, his action was barred by the exclusive-remedy provision under Ark. Code Ann. § 11-9-105(a). The appellate court added that the mere allegation that the employer failed to provide workers' compensation benefits for his employees did not establish as a matter of law that he failed to secure the payment of compensation as required under Ark. Code Ann. §§ 11-9-105(b)(1), 11-9-404(a)(1).

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the 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 Stan v. Vences, 2019 Ark. App. 56, 2019 Ark. App. LEXIS 66 (Jan. 30, 2019)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 102.06.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law