The Arkansas Court of Appeals has reversed a decision by the state Workers’ Compensation Commission that an injured construction worker was employed by a contractor he sued after he was struck by a truck driven by one of the company’s workers.
The appeals court ruled Wednesday that the commission erred in finding that there was an employment relationship between Jacen Gann and Bobby Kennedy Construction Co.
Mr Gann was injured in September 2019 after being hit by a truck driven by a BKC employee on a job site.
Mr Gann, who worked for CK Asphalt LLC, filed a claim with his employer but also launched a separate personal injury suit against BKC and the truck driver.
BKC claimed that there was an employment relationship between itself and Mr. Gann and that the matter should be subject to exclusive remedy protections under comp, not tort law.
An administrative law judge determined that Mr. Gann was a dual employee of BKC on the date of injury and that exclusive indemnification did in fact apply.
Mr. Gann appealed the decision, but the commission agreed with the judge and found that a contract of employment existed solely because BKC employees were supervising CK Asphalt workers at the job site on the date of injury.
Reversing the Commission̵7;s decision, the Court of Appeals held that there was no express or implied employment contract between Mr. Gann and BKC for provisions on exclusive remedies.
The Court remanded the case to the Labor Commission for a decision consistent with its opinion.