ANDREA BLACKWELL AND FREDERICK BLACKWELL, COCONSERVATORS FOR THE ESTATE AND PERSON OF ROBERT BLACKWELL v. COMANCHE CONSTRUCTION, INC. AND COMANCHE CONSTRUCTION OF GEORGIA, INC. - Articles

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Posted by: Tanja Trezise on Apr 15, 2013

Court: TN Court of Appeals

Attorneys 1:

Melissa A. Maravich and Tannera George Gibson, Memphis, Tennessee for Defendant/Appellants, Comanche Construction, Inc. and Comanche Construction of Georgia, Inc.

Attorneys 2:

Charles M. Agee, Jr. and W. Lewis Jenkins, Jr., Dyersburg, Tennessee for Plaintiff/Appellees, Andrea Blackwell and Frederick Blackwell, Co-conservators for the Estate and Person of Robert Blackwell

Judge(s): KIRBY

This interlocutory appeal concerns the statutory employer rule under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act. The defendant subcontractor rented a crane from a construction rental company. The crane rental company sent its employee to the job site to operate the crane. On the job site, the crane rental company’s employee sustained crippling injuries. The employee’s co-conservators sued the subcontractor in tort. The subcontractor filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing that it was a statutory employer of the crane rental company’s employee, pursuant to the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act, specifically T.C.A. § 50-6-113, and thus was immune from liability under the exclusive remedy provision of the Act, T.C.A. § 50-6-108. The trial court held that the subcontractor was not a statutory employer and therefore was not shielded by the exclusive remedy provision. The subcontractor was granted permission for this interlocutory appeal on the issue of whether it is a statutory employer under the Workers’ Compensation Act. We hold that, to reach the issue of whether the subcontractor is a statutory employer, it is first necessary to determine if the crane rental company was a subcontractor within the meaning of the Act, an issue not addressed by the trial court. Consequently, as we are unable on this record to consider the issue raised on appeal, we hold that this Court improvidently granted permission for this interlocutory appeal under Tenn. R. App. P. 9 and dismiss the appeal.

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