Weekly Law Resume - April 14, 2011: Torts - Independent Contractor Cannot Use Cal-OSHA Regulations To Establish Negligence Per Se

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Kurt Iversen v. California Village Homeowners Association Court of Appeal, Second District (March 23, 2011)

Under the negligence per se rule, a presumption of negligence arises from a defendant's violation of a statute if the violation caused the plaintiff's injury; the injury resulted from the kind of occurrence the statute was designed to prevent; and the plaintiff is a member of a class of persons the statute was intended to protect. In Elsner v. Uveges (2004) 34 Cal. 4th 915, the California Supreme Court held that under amendments to Cal. Labor Code section 6304.5, Cal-OSHA provisions may be admitted to establish a duty of care in negligence and personal injury actions. In this case, the issue was whether an injured independent contractor with no employees could invoke Cal-OSHA regulations to establish a claim for negligence per se against a homeowners association that hired him.

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