Sunday, November 18, 2007

No action against general contractor by subcontractor's employee from construction site accident. Eastlick v. Lueder Constr. Co., S-06-721, 274 Neb. 467 . Bricklayer fell off scaffolding he and a co-worker negligently assembled and of course his attorneys needed someone other to blame. Bricklayer sued the general contractor who had nothing to do with the masonry subcontractor's work. Dodge County District Court gave summary judgment to the general contractor and bricklayer appealed. Nebraska Supreme Court (J. Wright) affirms summary judgment. Unlike the Omaha Public Power District in Parrish v. Omaha Pub. Power Dist., 242 Neb. 783, 496 N.W.2d 902 (1993), who kept its own safety personnel constantly checking the work site, the general contractor had nothing to do with the masonry subcontractor's own scaffolding. Closer to the mark the Supreme Court finds that as in Hand v. Rorick Constr. Co., 190 Neb. 191, 206 N.W.2d 835 (1973), "the instrumentality (scaffolding) which caused the injury was not the premises, but, rather, was the equipment owned, controlled, and erected by the subcontractor, who was the employer of the injured worker. The general contractor had no right to control the subcontractor's equipment. The duty of a general contractor to employees of a subcontractor extends only to providing a reasonably safe place to work as distinguished from apparatus, tools, or machinery furnished by the subcontractor for the use of his own employees.”

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