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General contractor denied request to be dismissed from PA workplace injury case

The Pennsylvania Superior Court recently rejected a general contractor's request to be dismissed as a defendant in a civil litigation case involving a workplace injury.  The case arose from a 2008 workplace accident that injured laborer (Gary Shamis).  Shamis was working on the job site when he was struck by a dump truck driven by defendant's employee.  Shamis instituted the civil suit for defendant's alleged negligence in operation of the dump truck which caused his work related injury.  The defendant claimed that Shamis was on loan as their employee at the time of the accident and accordingly was entitled to reimbursement only under workers' compensation.  Shamis, however, insists that he was employed by a sub-contractor on the site and not the defendant, general contractor. 

The Superior Court overturned the lower court's decision which granted the general contractor's request to dismiss the case.  The Superior Court found that their remains genuine issues of material fact as to who controlled Shamis at the time of his workplace injury. 

If it is determined that Shamis was an employee of the defendant, general contractor at the time of his workplace injury then his suit will be dismissed and he will have to seek reimbursement under the Workers' Compensation Act.  However, if the trial court determines that at the time of his injury he was not employed by the defendant then his lawsuit will proceed towards trial.

Source:  "Workplace Injury Case Revived Over Employee Control," by P.J. Annunzio, The Legal Intelligencer, December 10, 2013

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