San Diego Partner, Sarah Long, obtained summary judgment in favor of a general contractor client.
The plaintiff in a personal injury lawsuit, an employee of one of the client’s subcontractors, alleges he suffered significant injuries after falling on the jobsite. Although the plaintiff filed a workers’ compensation claim against his employer and continues to receive benefits, he also filed a civil lawsuit against other subcontractors and the general contractor, alleging they are also responsible for his injuries based on premises liability and negligence theories of liability. The plaintiff claimed that the general contractor retained control of the worksite and responsibility for safety of on-site personnel.
In the motion for summary judgment, the defense successfully argued that in light of the California Supreme Court’s holdings in Privette v. Superior Court and its progeny, including the recent 2021 decision in Sandoval v. Qualcomm Incorporated (2021) 12 Cal.5th 256, the general contractor is not responsible for the plaintiff’s injuries as a matter of law because responsibility for the plaintiff’s safety had been delegated to and assumed by his employer, an independent contractor. The Court agreed and ruled that the general contractor was entitled to summary judgment in its favor on all of the plaintiff’s causes of action.