Does the National Union Carve-Out Exception Apply to UIM Coverage?
In Baker v. St. Paul Travelers Ins. Co., No. 09-1239, the court rejected the defendant-insurance company's contention that an employee cannot recover for work-related injuries under both workers' compensation and her employer's Underinsured Motorist (UIM) provision of the automobile insurance policy.
The court quoted the decision by the Massachusetts Supreme Court Judge in National Union: "We would not extend the bar imposed by the exclusivity provision of the Workers' Compensation Act to make ineffective [UIM] coverage (or any other coverage) that an employer explicitly purchased for the purpose of providing [UIM] coverage to employees injured in the course of their employment."
Thus, the court reversed the district court's judgment in favor of the defendant in concluding that the summary judgment was granted to St. paul without addressing the carve-out language in National Union, and therefore it did not reach the factual question of whether the underinsurance coverage purchased by the [employer] was indeed a bargained-for provision intended to provide [its] employees with addtional protection from damages caused by underinsured motorists.