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Pennsylvania: Truck Driver May Sue Well Owner and Service Company in Tort -- No Statutory Employer Relationship

August 27, 2020 (1 min read)

A divided Pennsylvania appellate court held a well owner and a separate firm that provided specialized services at the well were not statutory employers of a truck driver who contended he sustained injuries when a faulty storage tank value caused the driver to be sprayed with barite during a delivery. The driver filed a tort action against the well owner and the service company who then countered that they were statutory employers and, therefore, immune from tort liability. Construing Section 302(a) of the Pennsylvania Act (codified at 77 P.S. § 461), the majority held the driver's work was not integrally related to the "removal, excavation or drilling of soil, rock or minerals," but rather “for transportation and product-unloading services generally.” The appellate court vacated a trial court order that had granted the well owner and the service company summary judgment on exclusive remedy grounds.

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 Dobransky v. EQT Prod. Co., 2020 PA Super 189, 2020 Pa. Super. LEXIS 671 (Aug. 11, 2020)

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 62.02.

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

For a more detailed discussion of the case, see

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