Maine WCB Appellate Division Limits Scope of Personal Jurisdiction

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In a recent decision, the Appellate Division of the Maine Workers’ Compensation Board found that the Board had exceeded the scope of personal jurisdiction under Maine’s Long Arm statute when it agreed to decide a case involving a Massachusetts company.  The employee, a Maine resident who had traveled to Massachusetts to take a job with AGM Maine Contractors, Inc., argued that the company had sufficient contacts with Maine to reasonably have anticipated litigation there.  The purported contacts consisted of (1) a single project performed in Maine in nine years prior to the work injury, (2) language on the company’s website, holding itself out as available to do work in Maine, and (3) corporate registration in Maine.  The Appellate Division found that, based on these contacts, the company could not have reasonably anticipated litigation in Maine and vacated the Board’s decision awarding the employee benefits.

This decision may be one of several developments in personal jurisdiction law in Maine over the next several years.  We will keep an eye on this vital area of law and will provide updates when available.

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