Stich Angell congratulates Cara Passaro on her summary judgment win. Ms. Passaro was defending the General Contractor in a North Dakota worksite injury case that resulted in the death of one of its subcontractor’s millwrights and the catastrophic injury of another. The Plaintiffs would not agree to mediate, and were demanding the policy limits, which were in the high seven figures.
In a matter of first impression, the Court was asked to construe a recently amended provision of the North Dakota Workers Compensation Act, which states that an individual employed by a subcontractor operating under an agreement with a general contractor is deemed to be an employee of the general contractor. The Court determined that this deeming of an employment relationship is not contingent upon the subcontractor’s failure to secure coverage. The Court found that under the plain language of the statute, the General Contractor is deemed to be the statutory employer of the injured millwrights, and is afforded the employer immunities of the workers compensation act, divesting the trial court of subject matter jurisdiction over the Plaintiffs’ claims and forcing their dismissal.
Stich Angell would also like to commend Associate Bailey Stubbe for her work in formulating the arguments and on the briefing.