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The court refers the claim back, without proof of employer liability



The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania on Monday ordered a court ruling in favor of the appealed EQT Production Co. and Halliburton Energy Services Inc. and remanded the workplace injury case.

In 2012, complainant Eric Dobransky sustained injuries from exposure to barite at Scott’s Run, a natural gas source leased and operated by EQT. To drill and produce natural gas at Scott’s Run, EQT subcontracted a number of companies, including HESI, which provided EQT with clay services, according to court documents in Dobransky v. EQT Production Company.

While HESI took on the ultimate responsibility for ensuring a regular and even supply of baritone at Scotts It was decided to outsource the transport of the material to the well site under contract to Northwest Concrete Products, Inc. Northwest hired Mr. Dobransky as a truck driver.

On the current day, Mr. Dobransky barit to Scott̵

7;s Run site. When the barite was unloaded in HESI’s storage tank, the lid blew off, which released the barite on Mr. Dobransky’s face and body, according to documents.

Mr. Dobransky claims that, among other shortcomings, the tank lacked a ball valve and pressure gauge. As a result of his exposure to the barite, Dobransky claims to have sustained serious and serious injuries, including losing nearly half of his lung capacity.

Mr Dobransky then brought an action for negligence against the defendants. On 2 July 2018, EQT and HESI submitted a request for a summary judgment, claiming that they were Dobransky’s statutory employer and therefore immune from liability.

The question before the court was whether HESI and, by extension, EQT qualify as statutory employers under the Workers’ Compensation Act, and as such enjoy immunity from liability for damages such as Mr. Dobransky lidit.

The Supreme Court concluded that HESI and therefore EQT have not indisputably shown that they qualify as Dobransky’s statutory employer, and therefore overruled the district court’s decision to grant the appellants’ benefit and detention for further proceedings.


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