Workers' Compensation

United States: Companies Found to be Related, But Not Necessarily Alter Egos

Construing New Hampshire law, a federal district court refused to grant summary judgment to a trucking company and one of its drivers in a wrongful death action filed against them by the estate of a logging worker who was killed while helping the driver install snow chains on the tires of a tractor-trailer. Defendants had argued that the logging company—which employed the deceased—and the trucking company—which employed the driver—had common ownership and were alter egos and that the estate’s sole remedy was under the New Hampshire Workers’ Compensation Act. Quoting Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the court indicated plaintiff had shown there was an issue of fact as to whether the two corporations were alter egos in as much as the two firms had separate employer I.D. numbers, owned separate equipment and machinery, transacted at arm's length, maintained separate bank accounts without commingling funds, maintained separate financial statements, bookkeeping practices, accounting and payroll records, and employment structures, and separately paid rent for their office spaces. The court noted also that the evidence suggested the companies operated as separate entities so as to secure lower workers’ compensation insurance rates. 

Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. 

See Young v. Doucette, 2018 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 111369 (D. N.H. July 3, 2018)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 112.01.

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law