Mr. Stevens V. Chemco Case Summary

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STATEMENT OF THE CASE

This case is being appealed on the grounds that Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens were not employees of the company, but were brought on board as independent contractors. By Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens dismissing the instructions given to them by Mr. Williams, the on-site manager, they were outside of their course of employment. Because of these facts, Chemco cannot be held liable for their actions.
Mr. Matthew’s filed a complaint in December 1999 against Chemco due to injuries sustained while working. It is alleged that Chemco is culpable for the accident due to the negligence of the independent contractors, Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens. Chemco should not be held vicariously liable for this incident due to the agreed upon scope
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Williams, the on-site manager, delegated the production of a work detail involving filling a vat with nitrogen compounds to Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens. Mr. Williams instructed both Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens to use the small loading crane, not the large one because it is more maneuverable in a small space, and would decrease the chance of an accident. After Mr. Williams exited the scene, Mr. Jones, whose experience spans over 20 years, blatantly disregarded Mr. Williams instructions and directed the crane operator to use the large one. While loading the vat, the crane operator struck the side of the vat causing a spark which ignited the mixture. None of the workers were injured, except for Mr. Matthews who was classified as an office …show more content…
The Elements of Action. “According to the general rule, an employer is not liable for the negligent acts of an independent contractor because he lacks control over the manner in which the work is performed.” 2 Fla.Jur.2d, Agency and Employment § 109 (1977). See also (Fisherman’s Paradise, Inc. v. Greenfield (1982) 81-1980). First, as noted previously, independent contractors are to perform work and services on their own accord. Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens acted within their rights as independent contractors by using their own judgement on how to complete the work detail given to them by Mr. Williams. As an independent contractor with 20 years of experience, Mr. Jones, erroneously chose to utilize the large crane and take full accountability for the unsafe environment he created. Thus, establishing once more that, “the employer of an independent contractor is not liable for the contractor’s negligence because the employer has no control over the manner in which the work is done.” (McCall v. Alabama Bruno’s Inc. (1994) 647 So.2d 175). C. No Evidence of Vicarious Liability. Chemco did their due diligence by having Mr. Williams conduct a thorough check of the workers’ records. Because of their vast experience, Mr. Williams gave Mr. Jones and Mr. Stevens the work assignment. He also communicated to them, to use the small loading crane instead of the large crane. Mr. Jones, relying on his extensive knowledge, instructed the driver to use the large crane. By doing so, he

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