Davenport Evans Partners (now both retired) Rick Orr and Timothy Gebhart obtained favorable ruling in Knapp vs. Hamm & Phillips, a work injury claims appeal to the South Dakota Supreme Court.

In a November 28 decision, the South Dakota Supreme Court ruled that South Dakota does not have jurisdiction over a work injury occurring outside the state, even though the employee resided in South Dakota and occasionally worked there. Knapp v. Hamm & Phillips clarifies what goes into jurisdictional questions. Previously, the Court had held that residency alone did not create jurisdiction.

Claimant Knapp was hired in and employed by a North Dakota employer. His work as a truck driver was in South Dakota about 35 percent of the time and, as a convenience, he was able to park the company truck on a client’s property in South Dakota closer to his home. After suffering an injury in North Dakota, Knapp filed a claim there. When North Dakota terminated benefits, he sought benefits in South Dakota.

In its 4-1 decision, the Supreme Court said that even with the residency and work elements, the employment relationship was in North Dakota and South Dakota did not have jurisdiction over the claim. For more information about the decision, workers’ compensation or employment law matters, contact Davenport Evans today at 605-336-2880.

Davenport, Evans, Hurwitz & Smith, LLP, located in Sioux Falls, South Dakota, is one of the state’s largest law firms. The firm’s attorneys provide business and litigation counsel to individuals and corporate clients in a variety of practice areas. For more information about Davenport Evans, visit www.dehs.com.