Searching over 5,500,000 cases.


searching
Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.

Merlini v. Canada

United States District Court, D. Massachusetts

December 7, 2017

Cynthia L. Merlini Plaintiff,
v.
Canada Defendant.

          MEMORANDUM & ORDER

          Nathaniel M. Gorton, United States District Judge.

         Cynthia Merlini (“Merlini” or “plaintiff”) filed this action against the sovereign nation of Canada (“defendant”) in March, 2017. She claims that during her employment by the Consulate General of Canada in Boston, an arm of the Government of Canada (“the Consulate”), she suffered an injury that left her disabled.

         Pending before this Court is defendant's motion to dismiss for lack of jurisdiction. For the reasons that follow, defendant's motion to dismiss will be allowed.

         I. Background

         A. Alleged Injury

         Merlini states that she is a United States citizen living in Massachusetts and that she is not a Canadian citizen or national. She worked for defendant at the Consulate in a clerical position from 2003 to 2009. Her duties were secretarial and included answering the telephone, maintaining files and typing letters.

         Merlini claims that on January 22, 2009, while preparing coffee and tea for a meeting at the Consulate's office, she tripped over an unsecured speakerphone cord and fell, striking a credenza. She alleges that as a result of that accident, she suffered a serious bodily injury that rendered her unable to work. In this action, Merlini seeks damages for physical and mental pain and suffering, medical expenses, past and future lost wages, physical dysfunction and loss of earning capacity.

         B. Procedural History

         Merlini maintains she received benefits from the Government of Canada pursuant to Canadian law from March, 2009, until October, 2009, at which point the Government of Canada stopped paying her benefits. She did not appeal the discontinuation of benefits in Canada.

         Merlini brought a claim against defendant in the Massachusetts Department of Industrial Accidents (“DIA”). She alleged that defendant neither purchased workers' compensation insurance nor obtained a license as a self-insurer, in violation of Massachusetts workers compensation law. M.G.L. c. 152. An administrative law judge (“ALJ”) at DIA found Merlini was entitled to permanent and total incapacity benefits and other benefits from the Massachusetts Workers' Compensation Trust Fund.

         The DIA reviewing board reversed the ALJ's decision, finding that 1) Canada was not within the Commonwealth's personal jurisdiction, 2) Canada was not improperly uninsured because it had immunity under the Foreign Sovereign Immunities Act (“FSIA”) and 3) Merlini had no claim because she was entitled to benefits under Canadian law. Merlini appealed the reviewing board's decision to the Massachusetts Appeals Court. In re Merlini, 154 N.E.3d 606 (Mass. App. Ct. 2016) (unpublished table opinion). The Massachusetts Appeals Court held that the DIA reviewing board correctly reversed the ALJ, concluding the reviewing board properly found Canadian law applied and that Merlini's remedy, if any, was against the Canadian government. Id. at *2. The Court did not address the issue of whether the Canadian government is subject to jurisdiction in the Commonwealth, id., and Merlini did not petition the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court for further appellate review.

         On March 23, 2017, Merlini filed a complaint in this Court, alleging defendant violated M.G.L. c. 152, § 66. She claims defendant is strictly liable for her injuries because defendant was unlawfully uninsured under the Massachusetts workers' compensation statute.

         Defendant filed a motion to dismiss in June, 2017, contending that 1) this Court lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to hear Merlini's claim, 2) the DIA Reviewing Board's decision precludes Merlini from bringing this case and 3) Merlini has failed to state a claim upon which relief can be granted. Because this Court agrees with defendant that it lacks subject-matter jurisdiction to hear plaintiff's case, it will address only that issue.

         II. Defendant's Motions to Dismiss for Lack of ...


Buy This Entire Record For $7.95

Download the entire decision to receive the complete text, official citation,
docket number, dissents and concurrences, and footnotes for this case.

Learn more about what you receive with purchase of this case.