Worker In Your Home Injured While Working
As you may be aware, if you hire someone to perform work at your home, and that person gets injured, you, as the homeowner may get sued. Typically, these accidents and/or lawsuits occur when there is a dangerous condition on the property, that causes the accident that results in the injury.
In a recent case, the homeowner contracted with Dish Network to replace the existing satellite dish, who then outsourced the job to a company, which company sent the plaintiff to the home to do the work.
In accessing the old satellite dish, the plaintiff climbed onto a roof extension, almost an awning, made out of plywood, that had been added to the home. When the plaintiff stepped onto the roof extension, it collapsed, and he was seriously injured. He filed suit against the homeowner.
The court discussed the right of an independent contractor to sue the hirer, or homeowner here. In general, he cannot, as his exclusive remedy is workers compensation. There are exceptions, and they are as follows: 1)the hirer/homeowner knew or should have known of the dangerous condition, 2)the contractor/employee did not know about it, and 3)the hirer/homeowner did not warn the contractor/employee. There are some limitations to this liability, even if all 3 tests are met.
Next the court discussed the issue of the evidence as to the dangerous condition. The roof extension, or awning, was obtained without a building permit. But the court noted that there was no evidence of a specific code violation that would have made the awning stronger.
Therefore, in conclusion, the case brought by the employee/worker was dismissed. His exclusive and only remedy was workers comp. The 3 part test noted above needs to exist in order for the injured employee to sue the hirer of the independent contractor, or homeowner.