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Philadelphia judge presides over workplace injury case

A judge for a Philadelphia Common Pleas Court overruled a defendant's preliminary objections in the case, stating that the defendant had 20 days to respond to the suit. The defendant had been named in a joinder complaint in the plaintiff's Sept. 26 order. The joinder complaint ended up being filed after an employee of the JCP group filed a lawsuit against the company because he was injured from falling through the scaffolding at a construction site he had been working on. The JCP group then filed the joinder complaint against Cornwells Construction Co., stating that the subcontractor agreement the two companies entered into gave JCP Group indemnity, making Cornwells Construction Co. responsible for the man's work-related injuries.

Cornwells Construction Co. stated in its preliminary objections that it should not be held responsible for the worker's injuries because of the Workers' Compensation Act. However, the JCP Group said that there was a waiver of the law in their subcontracting agreement with the company. Ultimately, the judge sided with JCP Group, stating that subcontracting agreement between the companies did specifically use language that offered JCP Group indemnity in the event of workplace accidents.

The judge further went on to point out that the subcontracting agreement indicated that the construction company wouldn't be liable if JCP Group had been given written notice of unsafe conditions on the worksite before any workplace accidents occurred. The judge also pointed out that the construction company has also agreed to offer indemnity to JCP Group for claims its own employees waged based on allegations of an unsafe worksite.

Workers' compensation attorneys might be able to help workers injured on the job site receive compensation for their injuries. They might be able to help them negotiate fair settlements with their employers without having to go through a long court trial.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, "Phila. judge overrules preliminary objections in workplace injury case", Jon Campisi, October 04, 2013

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