In the Matter of the Claim of LARAINE GALSTER, as Executor of the Estate of ARTHUR GALSTER, Deceased, Respondent,
KEEN TRANSPORT, INC., et al., Appellants. WORKERS' COMPENSATION BOARD, Respondent.
Calendar Date: January 8, 2018
Goodrich & Goldman, LLP, Syracuse (Robert E. Geyer Jr. of
counsel), for appellants.
DeSantis & DeSantis, Utica (Michael P. DeSantis of
counsel), for Laraine Galster, respondent.
T. Schneiderman, Attorney General, New York City (Marjorie S.
Leff of counsel), for Workers' Compensation Board,
Before: Egan Jr., J.P., Lynch, Clark, Mulvey and Rumsey, JJ.
MEMORANDUM AND ORDER
from a decision of the Workers' Compensation Board, filed
August 21, 2015, which found that the Board has jurisdiction
over the claim.
Galster (hereinafter decedent), a resident of New York, was
hired in 2006 by the employer, a business located in
Pennsylvania, to deliver highway construction equipment
throughout the contiguous United States. In 2013, while
shifting equipment in his trailer in Illinois, decedent
injured his right shoulder, and he thereafter applied for
workers' compensation benefits in New York while the
employer filed a workers' compensation claim on his
behalf in Pennsylvania. As is relevant here, the employer and
its workers' compensation carrier controverted the
instant claim on the ground that the Workers'
Compensation Board did not have jurisdiction due to the lack
of an adequate connection between decedent's employment
and New York . After a hearing, a Workers'
Compensation Law Judge found that the contacts between
decedent's employment and New York established
jurisdiction over the claim, and she established the claim
for a right shoulder injury. Thereafter, the Board affirmed
the finding of jurisdiction on appeal. The employer and the
carrier now appeal. 
affirm. The Board has jurisdiction over a claim for an injury
occurring outside of New York where there are
"sufficient significant contacts" between the
employment and New York (Matter of Nashko v Standard
Water Proofing Co., 4 N.Y.2d 199, 201 ; see
Matter of Sanchez v Clestra Cleanroom, Inc., 11 A.D.3d
781, 782 ). A variety of factors must be taken into
account in the fact-finding required to assess jurisdiction,
"including where the employee resides, where the
employee was hired, the location of the employee's
employment and the employer's offices, whether the
employee was expected to return to New York after completing
out-of-state work for the employer and the extent to which
the employer conducted business in New York" (Matter
of Barnett v Callaway, 146 A.D.3d 1215, 1216 ;
see Matter of Deraway v Bulk Stor., Inc., 51 A.D.3d
1313, 1314 ). The Board's determination as to the
existence of jurisdiction will not be disturbed if it is
supported by substantial evidence (see Matter of Barnett
v Callaway, 146 A.D.3d at 1217; Matter of Deraway v
Bulk Stor., Inc., 51 A.D.3d at 1315).
hearing, decedent testified that, while he was living in New
York, he was hired by the employer during a phone call and
that he thereafter went to Pennsylvania for a four-day
orientation before he began driving for the employer. He
further explained that he continued to live in New York and
that, during the two-year period prior to his accident, he
had made 17 deliveries to locations in New York, which was
significantly more deliveries than he had made to
Pennsylvania. Decedent also described his "home
base" as being in New York and testified that the
employer would contact him at his home in New York about
jobs. After decedent was injured, the employer assisted in
securing medical care for him in New York and selecting a
doctor for him there. Decedent acknowledged that the
dispatcher from whom he received calls was located in
Pennsylvania. Decedent further explained that, after he was
injured, the employer helped secure him light-duty work in
New York for which the employer paid him, and the record
contains a letter to decedent explaining that the employer
had sought assistance in securing him such a position and
that it was "an extension of [his] employment" with
the employer. The director of human resources for the
employer testified that the employer does not own any
property in New York or have any offices there. He further
elaborated that, while the employer owns "yards" in
eight states, including Pennsylvania, it did not own any
"yards" in New York. Considering the foregoing, and
despite the fact that some factors weigh in favor of a
finding of no jurisdiction, substantial evidence supports the
Board's determination that there were sufficient
significant contacts between the employment and New York so
as to give it jurisdiction over the claim (see Matter of
Deraway v Bulk Stor., Inc., 51 A.D.3d at 1315;
Matter of Bugaj v Great Am. Transp., Inc., 20 A.D.3d
612, 614 ; Matter of Edick v Transcontinental
Refrigerated Lines, 300 A.D.2d 848, 849 ;
compare Matter of Colley v Endicott Johnson Corp.,
60 A.D.3d 1213, 1214-1215 ).
Jr., J.P., Lynch, Mulvey and Rumsey, JJ., concur.
that the decision is affirmed, without costs.