construction accidents

Respondeat Superior: Course and Scope of Employment

By on December 22, 2011 - Comments off

Agustus Vogt v. Herron Construction, — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 2011 WL 5142986, 11 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 13,556

A concrete subcontractor was injured at a construction site when he was run over by a personal vehicle owned and driven by an employee of another contractor. He then filed an action against the driver’s employer under the doctrine of respondeat superior, alleging that the employee had accidentally run him over while moving his own pickup truck in order to allow the concrete subcontractor’s employees to begin pouring cement nearby.

The defendant moved for summary judgment, contending that its employee was not acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident, because he was moving his personal vehicle, which was not required for his job, and was doing so for a non-work-related purpose of preventing damage to the truck from splashing of wet concrete.

The trial court granted summary judgment but the court of appeal reversed, holding that by moving his truck, the worker was furthering the employer’s overall enterprise, and that moving the truck was necessary to “his comfort, convenience and welfare while on the job”: Read the rest »


Negligence Per Se: Cal-OSHA Regulations

By on June 28, 2011 - Comments off

Iversen v. California Village Homeowners Association, (Second District, March 23, 2011) — Cal.Rptr.3d —-, 193 Cal.App.4th 951, 2011 WL 1034261, 11 Cal. Daily Op. Serv. 3584, 2011 Daily Journal D.A.R. 4282

A heating and refrigeration contractor who was injured in a fall from a ladder while servicing air conditioners at a condominium complex, filed suit against the homeowner’s association which had hired him. The plaintiff asserted a negligence per se cause of action, contending that the defendant had violated Cal-OSHA regulations which require a cage or other safety device for ladders taller than 20 feet, such as the one being used at the time of the accident.

The defendant moved for summary judgment, arguing that because the plaintiff was an independent contractor, and not an employee, it was not required to comply with Cal-OSHA regulations and did not owe him a duty of care. The trial court granted the motion and the court of appeal affirmed, holding that Cal-OSHA regulations do not apply to an independent contractor, and therefore could not be used by the plaintiff to establish negligence per se: Read the rest »