The Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court recently addressed the question of equity when an employer that is insured gives notice of a workplace injury to only one of two insurers, failing to notify the other. The court in this case held that when two workers’ compensation insurance policies cover the same loss for an employee’s injury, the insurer that paid has a right of equitable contribution, and the employer cannot prevent the paying insurer from exercising this right by intentionally notifying only one of the insurers.
An individual who worked for Progression, Inc. was seriously injured in a motor vehicle collision while traveling for business. Progression bought two workers’ compensation insurance policies from two different insurers, the Insurance Company of the State of Pennsylvania (ISOP), and Great Northern Insurance Company. Both were primary coverage policies, rather than excess policies.
After his injury, the employee timely notified Progression of his injury and pursued a workers’ compensation claim. Progression only notified ISOP, not Great Northern. ISOP began to pay workers’ compensation under the policy.