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Out-of-state trucking firm owes N.D. comp premiums

Posted On: Apr. 12, 2019 12:47 PM CST

Truck on Utah highway

The Supreme Court of North Dakota on Thursday ruled a Utah trucking company that had been doing business in North Dakota must pay $812,702.79 in back premiums, penalties, costs and disbursements to the State of North Dakota for the employees it had working in the state.

At issue is Eight Ball Trucking Inc.’s allocation of employees between North Dakota and Utah and Eight Ball’s obligation to procure North Dakota workers compensation insurance for its North Dakota employees.

In 2016, the state’s Workforce Safety & Insurance filed a complaint alleging that the trucking company’s officers were Utah employers engaged in employment in North Dakota without proper workers compensation insurance and were liable for unpaid premiums, penalties, and interest and estimated premiums, penalties, and interest for a period between 2009 and 2016, according to documents in State of North Dakota, by and through Workforce Safety and Insurance v. Eight Ball Trucking, Inc., David T. Horrocks, and Laurie J. Horrocks, filed in Pierre, South Dakota.

In late 2016, a district court, claiming the trucking company and its officers “failed to identify any specific facts to establish meritorious defense,” granted WSI’s motion for summary judgment and awarded the state its share of lost premiums, penalties, and costs and disbursements, enjoining Eight Ball from engaging in employment in North Dakota.

The trucking firm appealed, citing “factual disputes about the allocation of Eight Balls’ wages to North Dakota employees and to Utah employees,” according to documents.

The state’s highest court disagreed, citing the earlier court’s reasons for granting the award, writing: “We conclude the court’s decision was not arbitrary, capricious, or unreasonable and was not an abuse of discretion.”

Attorneys involved nor the trucking company could immediately be reached for comment.