to the Colorado Court of Appeals Court of Appeals Case No.
Attorneys for Petitioner: Treece Alfrey Musat P.C. James B.
Fairbanks Kathleen M. Byrne Denver, Colorado
Attorneys for Respondent Travis Miner: Killian Davis Richter
& Mayle, P.C. Damon J. Davis Christopher H. Richter Grand
Attorneys for Respondent Industrial Claim Appeals Office of
the State of Colorado: Cynthia H. Coffman, Attorney General
Evan P. Brennan, Assistant Attorney General Denver, Colorado
This case requires us to determine whether Colorado has
jurisdiction to award benefits for out-of-state work-related
injuries and impose a statutory penalty on an employer under
section 8-41-204, C.R.S. (2016), when the employer is not a
citizen of Colorado and has no offices or operations in
Colorado, but hired a Colorado citizen within the state. We
hold that on the facts presented here, Colorado lacks
personal jurisdiction over the employer.
Facts and Procedural History
Respondent Travis Miner was a resident of Colorado when a
friend told him that Petitioner Youngquist Brothers Oil &
Gas, Inc. ("Youngquist"), a North Dakota
corporation, was looking for employees to work on its oil
rigs in North Dakota. On the morning of December 23, 2013,
from his home in Colorado, Miner applied online for a job as
a derrickhand for Youngquist. That afternoon, a
representative from Youngquist called Miner to conduct a
phone interview. Miner was hired during the call, and the
representative asked if Miner could come to North Dakota the
next day. Miner said that he could, and Youngquist then
purchased Miner a plane ticket from Grand Junction to North
Dakota and e-mailed it to him.
When Miner arrived at the work site on December 24, he
completed paperwork, including a W-2 tax withholdings form
and an I-9 eligibility for employment form. On the paperwork,
Miner indicated his residence was in Grand Junction,
Colorado. Once he filled out the paperwork, Miner started
working as a derrickhand.
On December 25, during his second shift working for
Youngquist, Miner was injured. He did not report the injury
right away but eventually reported it on December 29. He then
returned to Colorado. Youngquist, which had workers'
compensation insurance in North Dakota, reported Miner's
injury to North Dakota's workers' compensation
agency. North Dakota denied Miner's workers'
compensation claim because Miner had a pre-existing back
injury, and Miner did not appeal the denial. Miner then
sought Colorado workers' compensation benefits, and in
October 2014, a Colorado administrative law judge
("ALJ") conducted a hearing.
The ALJ found that Miner had suffered a compensable
work-related injury and awarded him benefits. The ALJ also
determined that Miner was hired in Colorado and was injured
within six months of leaving Colorado, meaning Miner's
claim was subject to the Workers' Compensation Act of
Colorado ("Act"), sections 8-40-101 to 8-47-209,
C.R.S. (2016). The ALJ also imposed a fifty-percent penalty
on Youngquist for failing to carry workers' compensation
insurance in Colorado, as mandated by the Act. See
§ 8-43-408(1), C.R.S. (2016).
Youngquist appealed to the Industrial Claim Appeals Office of
the State of Colorado which affirmed the ALJ's Order.
Then, Youngquist appealed to the court of appeals, arguing
that Colorado lacked personal jurisdiction over it and that
it therefore was not subject to the Act. The court disagreed
and affirmed the ALJ's Order. Youngquist Bros. Oil
& Gas, Inc. v. ICAO, 2016 COA 31, ¶¶ 2,
10, P.3d . We granted certiorari. We now reverse the court of