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In a split decision, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the First Circuit held the Canadian government was not immune from a suit filed against it by a U.S. citizen who sustained a work-related injury while working as an administrative assistant to the Consul General of Canada in Boston. With its ruling, the First Circuit reversed a federal district court’s determination that had concluded Canada was immune from the suit under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”), 28 U.S.C. 1602 et seq., finding that the “commercial activity” exception applied under the facts of the case. The majority also held that Canada was an “uninsured employer” under the Massachusetts Workers’ Compensation Act, in spite of the fact that earlier it had paid the injured worker benefits under the Canadian Act. As an uninsured employer, Canada will lose a host of important common law defenses in the civil action filed against it.
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 Merlini v. Canada, 2019 U.S. App. LEXIS 17313 (1st Cir., June 10, 2019)
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 102.02.
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law
For a more detailed discussion of the case, see