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Federal: Non-Operating Partner in Joint Venture Qualified as Statutory Employer of Injured Worker

January 02, 2016 (1 min read)

A divided U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit held that a non-operating partner in a joint-venture qualifies as a “statutory employer,” as that term is used in the Louisiana Workers’ Compensation Act, even though the operating partner signed a contract with the other joint venturer that did not specifically designate the non-operating partner as a “statutory employer.” The worker, a boilermaker, sustained injuries in the course of his employment and recovered workers’ compensation benefits through his employer. He sought to sue the entities that had entered into a joint venture to construct and own a plant in Louisiana. The majority of the court noted that when a principal hires a contractor for the execution of the whole or any part of the work undertaken by the principal, the principal is a “statutory employer” and entitled to the same exclusive remedy protections against the contractor’s employees as against its own. As a principal in the enterprise, the non-operating partner was entitled to the broad presumption of statutory employer status approved by Louisiana courts.

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

LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to

See Wright v. Excel Paralubes, 2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21247 (5th Cir., Dec. 8, 2015) [2015 U.S. App. LEXIS 21247 (5th Cir., Dec. 8, 2015)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 112.01 [112.01]

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