UPDATED:  Affirmed by Kentucky Supreme Court on September 24, 2015 – 2014-SC-000305-WC in an opinion to be published.

Consol of Kentucky, Inc. v. Goodgame, No. 2013-CA-000281-WC (Ky.App. 2014):  For purposes of establishing jurisdiction under KRS 342.670(5)(d) “Principally localized” means the employer must either lease or own a location in the state at which it regularly conducts its business affairs, and the employee must regularly work at or from that location. 

Claimant worked for Consol as a laborer in its underground mines in Kentucky.  In 2009, Consol closed its Kentucky operation and claimant chose to go to work at Consol’s operation in Virginia.  He began working at the new location on August 1, 2009.  Claimant then left his employment with Consol on January 19, 2010.  He claimed his physical ailments (cumulative trauma to his spine and extremities) prevented him from continuing to work.  On January 17, 2012 he filed an application for resolution of injury claim, listing January 19, 2010 as the date of injury.  The ALJ determined Kentucky did not have jurisdiction over claimant’s claim arising in Virginia and also found the statute of limitations for the claim arising from claimant’s employment in Kentucky began to run from his last day of employment in Kentucky, August 1, 2009, and, thus, his claim was barred because he did not file it within two years of that date.  The Workers’ Compensation Board  (WCB) reversed and the Court of Appeals affirmed the WCB.

The Court reviewed the issue of jurisdiction in light of KRS 342.670 (5)(d)1 and (5)(d)2, which states Kentucky will have jurisdiction if a person’s employment is principally localized in Kentucky, meaning:  (1) The Employer has a place of business in this state and claimant regularly works at or from that place of business or (2) claimant is domiciled and spends a substantial part of his working time in service of his employer in Kentucky.

The Court determined that under (5)(d)1, the employer must either lease or own a location in the state at which it regularly conducts its business affairs and the employee must regularly work at or from that location.  This was not the case with the claimant in Goodgame. Thus, Kentucky did not have jurisdiction.

The WCB and the Court of Appeals did not feel the Kentucky claim was barred by the statute of limitations, however, because the statute did not begin to run until the condition was manifest, meaning a physician had diagnosed the condition and its work-relatedness.  On remand, the ALJ was to determine the date of manifestation before addressing the statute of limitations issue.

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