“Real” Nature of Claim Prevails Over Pleading Labels

On September 5, 2012, the Minnesota Supreme Court ruled Minnesota’s Office of Administrative Hearings (OAH) has subject matter jurisdiction to hear an employer’s petition for a declaration of insurance coverage.  In Giersdorf v. A & M Const., A11-1841 (Minn. 2012) the Court affirmed the Workers’ Compensations Court of Appeals (WCCA) and trial judge, and held because the underlying claim in the employer’s petition involved insurance coverage, not breach of contract, the OAH had jurisdiction to hear it. The Court remanded the case to the trial court to determine whether the employer’s coverage with the insurer remained in effect at the time of the employee’s injury. 

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