An independent contractor can sue for injuries on the job – even though the workers’ compensation law generally bars lawsuits for workplace injuries, an appeals court in California has decided.
The worker was hired by a subcontractor to install a canopy at a gas station. He fell into a hole at the construction site and was injured. He sued the general contractor and the subcontractor. The defendants argued that the suit should be thrown out because of the workers’ comp law. But the court said the suit could go forward because the worker was a contractor, not an employee. An independent contractor isn’t eligible for workers’ comp benefits, so the ban on lawsuits doesn’t apply, the court said.