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COA rules workers’ comp is remedy for temporary employee

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A man who suffered severe heat stroke while working as a temporary employee failed to convince the Indiana Court of Appeals this his only employer was the temp agency.

Brian Frontz filed a lawsuit against Middletown Enterprises Inc. after he sustained permanent injuries while working for the company. He argued the Worker’s Compensation Act was not the avenue for him to file a claim against Middletown because Wimmer Temporaries Inc., the company that had assigned Frontz to work for Middletown, was his sole employer.

Blackford Superior Court disagreed and granted summary judgment for Middletown.

On appeal, Frontz asserted the trial court erred in finding that Middletown was his joint employer.

In Louise Frontz, Guardian of the Person and Estate of Brian O’Neal Frontz, and Brian Frontz v. Middletown Enterprises, Inc., d/b/a Sinclair Glass, 05A04-1307-PL-364, the Court of Appeals disagreed and affirmed the trial court’s ruling.

Pointing to Kenwal Steel Corp. v. Seyring, 903 N.E.2d 510, 515 (Ind. Ct. App. 2009), which found that Ind. Code 22-3-6-1 establishes the lessee of temporary employees is a joint employer, the Court of Appeals found that Frontz’s only remedy is to file workers’ compensation claims against both his employer and the company to which he was leased.

“The trial court relied on Kenwal in deciding that Wimmer and Middletown were joint employers of Frontz because Wimmer, as a professional employment agency that provides temporary workers to other businesses, was the lessor and Middletown was the lessee of Frontz,” Judge Melissa May wrote for the court. “Frontz invites us to reconsider our decision in Kenwal, but we decline his invitation.”
 

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  3. The practitioners and judges who hail E-filing as the Saviour of the West need to contain their respective excitements. E-filing is federal court requires the practitioner to cram his motion practice into pigeonholes created by IT people. Compound motions or those seeking alternative relief are effectively barred, unless the practitioner wants to receive a tart note from some functionary admonishing about the "problem". E-filing is just another method by which courts and judges transfer their burden to practitioners, who are the really the only powerless components of the system. Of COURSE it is easier for the court to require all of its imput to conform to certain formats, but this imposition does NOT improve the quality of the practice of law and does NOT improve the ability of the practitioner to advocate for his client or to fashion pleadings that exactly conform to his client's best interests. And we should be very wary of the disingenuous pablum about the costs. The courts will find a way to stick it to the practitioner. Lake County is a VERY good example of this rapaciousness. Any one who does not believe this is invited to review the various special fees that system imposes upon practitioners- as practitioners- and upon each case ON TOP of the court costs normal in every case manually filed. Jurisprudence according to Aldous Huxley.

  4. Any attorneys who practice in federal court should be able to say the same as I can ... efiling is great. I have been doing it in fed court since it started way back. Pacer has its drawbacks, but the ability to hit an e-docket and pull up anything and everything onscreen is a huge plus for a litigator, eps the sole practitioner, who lacks a filing clerk and the paralegal support of large firms. Were I an Indiana attorney I would welcome this great step forward.

  5. Can we get full disclosure on lobbyist's payments to legislatures such as Mr Buck? AS long as there are idiots that are disrespectful of neighbors and intent on shooting fireworks every night, some kind of regulations are needed.

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