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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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  1. So that none are misinformed by my posting wihtout a non de plume here, please allow me to state that I am NOT an Indiana licensed attorney, although I am an Indiana resident approved to practice law and represent clients in Indiana's fed court of Nth Dist and before the 7th circuit. I remain licensed in KS, since 1996, no discipline. This must be clarified since the IN court records will reveal that I did sit for and pass the Indiana bar last February. Yet be not confused by the fact that I was so allowed to be tested .... I am not, to be clear in the service of my duty to be absolutely candid about this, I AM NOT a member of the Indiana bar, and might never be so licensed given my unrepented from errors of thought documented in this opinion, at fn2, which likely supports Mr Smith's initial post in this thread: http://caselaw.findlaw.com/us-7th-circuit/1592921.html

  2. When I served the State of Kansas as Deputy AG over Consumer Protection & Antitrust for four years, supervising 20 special agents and assistant attorneys general (back before the IBLE denied me the right to practice law in Indiana for not having the right stuff and pretty much crushed my legal career) we had a saying around the office: Resist the lure of the ring!!! It was a take off on Tolkiem, the idea that absolute power (I signed investigative subpoenas as a judge would in many other contexts, no need to show probable cause)could corrupt absolutely. We feared that we would overreach constitutional limits if not reminded, over and over, to be mindful to not do so. Our approach in so challenging one another was Madisonian, as the following quotes from the Father of our Constitution reveal: The essence of Government is power; and power, lodged as it must be in human hands, will ever be liable to abuse. We are right to take alarm at the first experiment upon our liberties. I believe there are more instances of the abridgement of freedom of the people by gradual and silent encroachments by those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. Liberty may be endangered by the abuse of liberty, but also by the abuse of power. All men having power ought to be mistrusted. -- James Madison, Federalist Papers and other sources: http://www.constitution.org/jm/jm_quotes.htm RESIST THE LURE OF THE RING ALL YE WITH POLITICAL OR JUDICIAL POWER!

  3. My dear Mr Smith, I respect your opinions and much enjoy your posts here. We do differ on our view of the benefits and viability of the American Experiment in Ordered Liberty. While I do agree that it could be better, and that your points in criticism are well taken, Utopia does indeed mean nowhere. I think Madison, Jefferson, Adams and company got it about as good as it gets in a fallen post-Enlightenment social order. That said, a constitution only protects the citizens if it is followed. We currently have a bevy of public officials and judicial agents who believe that their subjectivism, their personal ideology, their elitist fears and concerns and cause celebs trump the constitutions of our forefathers. This is most troubling. More to follow in the next post on that subject.

  4. Yep I am not Bryan Brown. Bryan you appear to be a bigger believer in the Constitution than I am. Were I still a big believer then I might be using my real name like you. Personally, I am no longer a fan of secularism. I favor the confessional state. In religious mattes, it seems to me that social diversity is chaos and conflict, while uniformity is order and peace.... secularism has been imposed by America on other nations now by force and that has not exactly worked out very well.... I think the American historical experiment with disestablishmentarianism is withering on the vine before our eyes..... Since I do not know if that is OK for an officially licensed lawyer to say, I keep the nom de plume.

  5. I am compelled to announce that I am not posting under any Smith monikers here. That said, the post below does have a certain ring to it that sounds familiar to me: http://www.catholicnewworld.com/cnwonline/2014/0907/cardinal.aspx

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