Archive: February 17, 2009

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Court Declines to Find Construction Company “Statutory Employer” of Injured Worker, Denies Construction Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Court Declines to Find Construction Company “Statutory Employer” of Injured Worker, Denies Construction Company’s Motion for Summary Judgment

Baugh v. Gale Lim Holdings, Inc., 2009 WL 33149 (D. Idaho Jan 5, 2009)

In this case, Gale Lim Construction contracted with the State of Idaho to repair portions of the Tin Cup Highway.  Lim contacted Silver Star Communications before excavating, as required, and Silver Star then sent its employee, John Baugh, to the jobsite to mark its fiber optic cable.  Baugh was injured and brought a tort action against Lim.

Lim filed a motion for summary judgment claiming that worker’s compensation law made it a "statutory employer" of Baugh and therefore immune from tort claims.  Baugh defended the motion by arguing that immunity was not applicable in this case where there was no contract between Lim and Silver Star.  Holding that a question of fact remained as to the existence of a contract, the court denied the motion.

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