From Lexology, Tony Oncidi reports on a case in California in which the company that hired an independent contractor was not liable for the injury to a contractor’s employee based on the principle than a hirer generally delegates to an independent contractor all responsibility for workplace safety and is not liable for injuries sustained by the contractor or its workers while on the job. Tony writes:
Miller v. Roseville Lodge No. 1293, 83 Cal. App. 5th 825 (2022)
Roseville Lodge No. 1293, Loyal Order of Moose, Inc., hired Charlie Gelatini to move an ATM on its premises. Ricky Lee Miller, Jr., who worked for Gelatini and was the person who performed the work, was injured on the job when he fell from a scaffold. Miller sued the Lodge and its bartender for his injuries. Relying upon the well-established Privette doctrine, the Lodge and Dickinson argued that they were not liable for Miller’s injuries since he was Gelatini’s employee and not theirs. The trial court granted defendants’ summary judgment motion, and the Court of Appeal affirmed, ruling that the Privette doctrine holds that a hirer generally delegates to an independent contractor all responsibility for workplace safety and is not liable for injuries sustained by the contractor or its workers while on the job. The Court rejected Miller’s arguments that the retained control or concealed hazardous conditions exceptions to the Privette doctrine applied. Compare Ramirez v. PK 1 Plaza 580 SC, LP, 2022 WL 16846274 (Cal. Ct. App. 2022) (Privette doctrine does not apply where landowner did not hire independent contractor).