Brannock & Humphries Upholds Trial Court Order Denying Workers’ Compensation Immunity, Protects Injured Worker’s Right To Sue
A hauling worker who was seriously injured when he was knocked off his semi-trailer while it was being loaded with yard trash at a transfer station in Volusia County prevailed today in convincing the Fifth District Court of Appeal to deny workers’ compensation immunity to the land clearing company whose employee caused the accident.
The legal issue involved the limits of workers’ compensation and whether that doctrine applied to an independent contractor who owned his own truck, paid for all the maintenance and insurance expenses associated with the truck, and had his own license to operate the truck. The trial court had concluded that workers’ compensation did not apply, because the injured worker was not an “employee” of the defendant-company.
The company appealed, and Brannock & Humphries successfully argued that the trial court got it right. This means that the injured worker’s lawsuit against the company can proceed.