Pa. Supreme Court Rules On Workers Compensation Issue- Supplier Found Liable As Statutory Employer

Date: June 7, 2012
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The Pennsylvania Supreme Court issued a decision on May 29, 2012 addressing the question of whether certain contractors bear secondary liability for compensation to injured workers employed by their subcontractors. In the case of Six L’s  Packing Company V. WCAB (Williamson), the Court determined that the defendant, a tomato grower, was secondarily liable to pay workers compensation benefits to a truck driver  employed by a trucking company hired by the tomato grower to transport it’s product. The claimant, a driver who was employed by trucking company, the primary employer, filed claim petition for workers’ compensation benefits against Six L’s, the produce supplier with which trucking company had contracted. The claim petition alleged the trucking company did not maintain workers’ compensation insurance and asserted that the supplier, Six L’s, was the claimant’s “statutory employer” and, thus, was secondarily liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits. The Workers’ Compensation Judge (WCJ) found that Six L’s was liable for payment of workers’ compensation benefits and the WCAB and Commonwealth Court affirmed. The Pennsylvania Supreme Court likewise affirmed hold that the section of the Pa. Workers’ Compensation Act providing that certain contractors bear secondary liability for compensation to injured workers employed by their subcontractors was applicable to contractual delegations of aspects of an employer’s regular or recurrent business activities.

If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at tcummings@dlplaw.com or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.

 

 

Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive.  Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column. 

 

Tom Cummings
Thomas P. Cummings has been a Partner with Dougherty Leventhal & Price, LLP since 1996 and has been with the firm since 1991. He focuses his practice on workers’ compensation, Social Security Disability and personal injury cases.