The California Court of Appeal on Thursday reversed a trial court’s grant of summary judgment to a general contractor sued by an injured ironworker injured while working on a construction project at Stanford University.
The court ruled that a lower judge wrongly dismissed a lawsuit against Devcon Construction Inc. brought by Jose Hernandez, who was injured in February 2018 when an earthen bench next to an excavation pit gave way.
Hernandez, an employee of subcontractor Pacific Steel Group, sued Devcon, but the company argued it could not be held liable for injuries to subcontractor employees.
A trial judge agreed with Devcon.
Hernandez argued that Devcon should be liable because Devcon had control over work not delegated to Pacific Steel.
The appeals judges ruled that a summary judgment was premature because there are issues of fact in the dispute that should be allowed to play out in court.
The appeals court said that if a general contractor does not delegate the task of providing safe equipment for workers, it could be held liable in a civil suit to a subcontractor̵7;s employee.
The Court of Appeal referred the case back to the district court for annulment of the sentence.