Thursday, February 23, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court case----Youngquist

Decided February 2017 is the Youngquist case. This case was an appeal from the lower court and addressed the issue
of jurisdiction over a non Colorado business. The employer was a North Dakota business that hired a Colorado resident by phone and sent him a travel ticket. He was injured outside of Colorado but sought to use the Colorado workers compensation system. As a claimant he was successful at a hearing and at appeals until the last stop was the Colorado Supreme Court. That court decided that there was no jurisdiction over the employer so Colorado could not proceed on the claim. The key point in cases like this is the extent of contacts by the out of state business with Colorado. If deemed significant then Colorado would have the power to decide the entire claim. But fundamental fairness does require enough contact with the state for Colorado to exercise jurisdiction. In this case the court determined there was not much to connect Colorado to this employer. There was a phone call and the travel ticket was sent by email. There was no presence of anyone acting for the business in Colorado. There was no business being conducted in Colorado. Cases like this are decided on very specific facts but they do tell us that being a Colorado resident is not enough by itself for you to file a Colorado claim. Now most cases involve work being done in Colorado so the facts of this case are not common but it is important to realize that the Colorado Supreme Court does at times get involved in work injury cases.