Johnson v. Sure Winner Foods

Insurance Company

Willis of New England

Date Decided

May 9, 2014

Panel Members

Elizabeth Elwin

Garry Greene

Tom Pelletier




Truck Driving Non-Resident jurisdicition Comeau Dissell

File Size

236 KB


Summary from the Troubh Heisler Attorneys

Johnson was a Vermont resident who performed all of his truck deliver work for Sure Winner outside of Maine. He was injured in a car accident on his way home from a co-worker/friend’s house where he had gone both to socialize and pick up a scanner to use for work the next day. Sure Winner’s main office, HR functions and dispatching are handled in Maine. Johnson came to Maine twice, once to apply, and then again to interview for the job.

Both parties appealed the ALJ denial of the petition for award. Johnson argued the ALJ erred in not finding the injury compensable under the Comeau factors, which are discussed by the Panel along with the “dual purpose” doctrine, in upholding the denial.

Sure Winner appealed the ALJ finding subject matter jurisdiction, that is, that Johnson could seek WC benefits under Maine law. In upholding subject matter jurisdiction the Panel discusses the six “relevant contacts” under Dissell to be examined before permitting the WCB to exercise subject matter jurisdiction.

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