Attorney Waystack brought a lawsuit on behalf of the family of a deceased logging company employee who was killed in a workplace accident. The deceased employee (a shear operator) was run over by the driver of a low-bed truck while helping the truck driver install snow chains on the truck that was transporting his logging equipment.
A legal challenge arose over the fact that the truck driver and shear operator were both employed by the same logging company. Defense raised the so-called “worker’s compensation immunity” defense pursuant to RSA 281-A, which prevents an employee from suing any coworkers employed by the same company. The defendant filed a judgment motion in the U.S. District Court of NH, seeking to dismiss the case on this ground. Attorneys Waystack and Cabrera successfully overcame this defense, convincing the Court that there was a “jury question” as to whether the truck driver, although a co-employee, was the “borrowed servant” of a separate trucking company that owned the truck at issue in this suit. As a result, the lawsuit could proceed and the family could seek justice.
Because the deceased shear operator’s widow was receiving worker’s compensation benefits from logging company, there were both tort and worker’s compensation legal issues to be resolved. After prevailing on the summary judgment motion, this case settled at mediation for a substantial sum, with all subrogation liens being waived.