Arizona: Mexican Employer Subject to Arizona Act for In-State Injury

Arizona: Mexican Employer Subject to Arizona Act for In-State Injury

An Arizona appellate court recently held that a Mexican corporation and employer, whose employee—a citizen and resident of Mexico—was severely injured in Arizona while driving a diesel fuel transport truck from Phoenix to Nogales, Mexico, was subject to Arizona's workers' compensation statutes at the time of the injury and, accordingly, could be required to repay the state's Special Fund (for uninsured claims) for $17,000 in medical expenses and other unpaid bills in Mexico.  The court was not persuaded by the Mexican employer's argument that requiring a foreign employer to comply with such statutes would violate United States federal law.  Following the injury and a recuperative period, the driver returned to Mexico and received various medical and disability benefits from the Mexican social security system.  The system refused to pay the $17,000 in medical expenses because the services were rendered outside the Mexican "system."  The appellate court reasoned that Arizona had the power and authority to regulate the status of employer and employee and to enforce the public policy of the state as it related to workers' compensation for employees engaged in interstate or foreign commerce unless abrogated by U.S. law.  No such law limited the state in this instance, said the court.

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is a leading commentator and expert on the law of workers’ compensation.

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Porteadores del Noroeste S.A. DE, C.V. v. Industrial Comm'n of Ariz., 2014 Ariz. App. LEXIS 9 (Jan. 14, 2014) [2014 Ariz. App. LEXIS 9 (Jan. 14, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 143.02 [143.02]

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