Mississippi: CPA Exec’s Heirs May Pursue Death Benefits in Spite of Exec’s Failure to Secure Coverage

Mississippi: CPA Exec’s Heirs May Pursue Death Benefits in Spite of Exec’s Failure to Secure Coverage

In a split decision, the Court of Appeals of Mississippi held that the survivors of a business executive could pursue their claim for death benefits under the state’s Workers’ Compensation Act in spite of the fact that the deceased, the managing partner and president of a CPA firm, had considered, but failed to secure workers’ compensation coverage for the firm.  The firm had at least five employees during the relevant period of time and was required by law to have coverage.  The firm contended that the managing partner’s decision not to secure coverage amounted to an election not to be covered as an employee under Miss. Code Ann. § 71–3–79.  The statute allows an executive to reject personal coverage if the executive submits a written notice of rejection to the carrier.  The firm had argued the executive could hardly have submitted a written notice to a carrier; there was no carrier.  The majority indicated that in spite of the firm’s logical position, the statute was clearly worded.  The CPA executive was required to submit the notice and had not done so.

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 lexis.com.

See Harper v. Banks, Finley, White & Co., 2014 Miss. App. LEXIS 211 (Apr. 15, 2014) [2014 Miss. App. LEXIS 211 (Apr. 15, 2014)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 76.01 [76.01]

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

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