Weekly Law Resume - April 7, 2011: Hirer May Be Held Directly Liable For Independent Contractor's Injury Where Hirer Retained Control Over Safety Conditions At Jobsite

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Jeffrey Tverberg v. Fillner Construction, Inc. Court of Appeal, First Appellate District, Division Four (March 25, 2011)

In this case, the trial court granted summary judgment to Fillner Construction, Inc. ("Fillner") and dismissed the personal injury action of Jeffrey Tverberg ("Tverberg"). Tverberg appealed, contending that Fillner was liable for his injuries because of its (1) negligent exercise of retained control and (2) breach of non-delegable regulatory duty. The Court of Appeal reversed the judgment of the trial court.

In 2006, Fillner was the general contractor on a property to expand a gas station. Fillner hired subcontractor Lane Supply, which delegated work to Perry Construction, Inc. ("Perry") to install a canopy for the project. Perry hired Tverberg, an independent contractor, to construct the canopy. On May 1, 2006, Tverberg noticed that another subcontractor had dug holes for other work and asked that they be covered. The holes were not covered when Tverberg started work, and he was injured after falling into one.

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