DAVIS et al.
MILLER, P. J., DOYLE, P. J., and REESE, J.
Davis was exposed to asbestos while working for
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation in Alabama. More than 17 years
after he voluntarily resigned and moved to Georgia, he was
diagnosed with mesothelioma. He filed a claim for benefits
with the Georgia State Board of Workers' Compensation
("Board"), and his surviving spouse and dependent
later filed a claim for death and dependent benefits. The
administrative law judge ("ALJ") and the State
Board found that the Board did not have jurisdiction. The
superior court affirmed, and we granted discretionary review.
For the reasons set forth, infra, we affirm.
parties stipulated to the following facts: In 1984, Davis, an
Alabama resident, accepted a job working for
Louisiana-Pacific Corporation. After undergoing a
pre-employment physical examination in Eufaula, Alabama,
Davis worked exclusively at Louisiana-Pacific's Clayton,
Alabama facility. In March 1998, he voluntarily resigned and
permanently moved to Georgia. Davis was diagnosed with
mesothelioma in May 2015 in Georgia, where he exclusively
received treatment for his mesothelioma condition.
filed a claim for benefits with the Board in August 2015.
After he died as a result of his condition the following
month, his surviving spouse, individually and on behalf of a
minor child ("Appellant"), filed a claim for death
and dependent benefits. Neither Davis nor Appellant asserted
a claim for benefits under Alabama's workers'
So long as there is some evidence to support the
[Board's] decision, findings of fact by the State Board
are conclusive and binding on reviewing courts, and judges
lack authority to set aside an award based on disagreement
with the Board's conclusions. However, erroneous
applications of law to undisputed facts, as well as decisions
based on erroneous theories of law, are subject to the de
novo standard of review in superior court and on appeal to
these guiding principles in mind, we turn now to
Appellant's specific claims of error.
Appellant argues that dismissal was improper because, under
Article 8 of the Act, specifically OCGA § 34-9-281, the
Board has jurisdiction over all work-related injuries and
deaths that occur in Georgia. Although Davis was last exposed
to asbestos in Alabama, Appellant contends that his
work-related injury did not occur until he was diagnosed and
became disabled, both of which took place in Georgia, as did
his work-related death. In a related claim of error,
Appellant contends that general rules of statutory
construction support his interpretation.
applicable, the Workers' Compensation Act provides the
exclusive remedy to an employee injured by accident arising
out of and in the course of the employment.
" The general provisions of the Act apply to
Article 8, "Compensation for Occupational Disease,
" "unless otherwise provided in or
inconsistent with [that] article." OCGA §
34-9-281 (a), on which Appellant relies, begins:
Where the employer and employee are subject to this
chapter, the disablement or death of an employee
resulting from an occupational disease shall be treated as
the occurrence of an injury by accident; and the employee or,
in the case of his or her death, the employee's
dependents shall be entitled to compensation as provided by
this chapter. The practice and procedure prescribed in
this chapter shall apply to all the proceedings under this
article except as otherwise provided.
OCGA § 34-9-281 (a), by its own terms, applies only
where both the employer and employee are subject to the Act.
contrast, OCGA § 34-9-242, located in Article 6,
"Payment of Compensation, " provides:
In the event an accident occurs while the employee is
employed elsewhere than in this state, which accident would
entitle him or his dependents to compensation if it had
occurred in this state, the employee or his dependents shall
be entitled to compensation if the contract of employment was
made in this state and if the employer's place of
business or the residence of the employee is in this ...