The New Hampshire Supreme Court’s January 11 decision has effectively overturned a decision made in 1999, that allowed an injured employee to collect both workers compensation benefits and sue for damages under the State’s uninsured motorist statutes.
The insurance industry, led by the NAII, had strongly opposed the ruling in Gorman v. National Grange Mutual Insurance Co. which ruled that a person injured at work by a vehicle was uninsured for purposes of making a UM claim under their personal auto policy. This allowed claimants to collect both workers’ compensation and uninsured motorist coverage under their personal auto policies, and “opened the door for abuse.”
The new ruling in Matarese v. New Hampshire Municipal Assoc. Prpoerty-Liability Insurance Trust has apparently closed that door. “The New Hampshire Supreme Court basically reconsidered its original rationalization that a plaintiff injured at work by a coworker was uninsured because the workers comp system prevented the injured worker from suing,” stated Gerald L. Zimmerman, senior counsel for the NAII. “The high court found this thinking to be legally erroneous and overruled those findings.”
The NAII said that overturning the Gorman case ”
took a step toward restoring sanity to the state’s workers’ compensation and uninsured motorist systems.”|”nh, court, ruling, restores, sanity, says, naii
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