ILNews

Justices rule on construction manager's duty for jobsite safety

Back to TopCommentsE-mailPrintBookmark and Share

The Indiana Supreme Court has held that a construction manager on the Lucas Oil Stadium construction project didn’t have a legal duty to ensure jobsite safety to a subcontractor’s employee either by contract or individual actions, and as a result, cannot be held liable for workplace negligence.

In Hunt Construction Group, Inc., and Mezzetta Construction, Inc. v. Shannon D. Garrett, No. 49S02-1106-CT-365, the justices voted 4-1 to reverse a ruling by Marion Superior Judge David Shaheed that was in favor of Shannon Garrett.

Garrett was working for a concrete company when a coworker dropped a piece of wood that struck her and injured her head and left hand. Shaheed found that the construction manager, Hunt Construction Group, could be held vicariously liable for the actions of her employer, Baker Concrete, because Hunt was in charge of the jobsite. The Court of Appeals held that Hunt was not vicariously liable to Garrett for any negligence on her employer’s part because the two didn’t have the required relationship.

The Supreme Court’s majority relied on Plan-Tec, Inc. v. Wiggins, 443 N.E.2d 1212 (Ind. Ct. App. 1983), as a durable template for resolving these workplace safety issues. Justice Frank Sullivan wrote that for a construction manager to not otherwise be obligated by contract to provide jobsite safety but to be legally bound to provide that care and safety goes beyond what a contract dictates. In this case, Hunt did not undertake any such responsibilities for the project that Garrett was working and can’t be held liable in that way.

Sullivan also wrote that Hunt didn’t assume by its actions on the site any legal duty for that workplace safety, unlike in Plan-Tec, where the construction manager did take on additional jobsite responsibilities beyond the contract.

Justice Brent Dickson dissented, believing that material issues of fact exist about the construction manager’s duty of care and summary judgment is precluded for both parties.

The case is remanded for proceedings consistent with the opinion.

 

ADVERTISEMENT

Post a comment to this story

COMMENTS POLICY
We reserve the right to remove any post that we feel is obscene, profane, vulgar, racist, sexually explicit, abusive, or hateful.
 
You are legally responsible for what you post and your anonymity is not guaranteed.
 
Posts that insult, defame, threaten, harass or abuse other readers or people mentioned in Indiana Lawyer editorial content are also subject to removal. Please respect the privacy of individuals and refrain from posting personal information.
 
No solicitations, spamming or advertisements are allowed. Readers may post links to other informational websites that are relevant to the topic at hand, but please do not link to objectionable material.
 
We may remove messages that are unrelated to the topic, encourage illegal activity, use all capital letters or are unreadable.
 

Messages that are flagged by readers as objectionable will be reviewed and may or may not be removed. Please do not flag a post simply because you disagree with it.

Sponsored by
ADVERTISEMENT
Subscribe to Indiana Lawyer
  1. Why in the world would someone need a person to correct a transcript when a realtime court reporter could provide them with a transcript (rough draft) immediately?

  2. This article proved very enlightening. Right ahead of sitting the LSAT for the first time, I felt a sense of relief that a score of 141 was admitted to an Indiana Law School and did well under unique circumstances. While my GPA is currently 3.91 I fear standardized testing and hope that I too will get a good enough grade for acceptance here at home. Thanks so much for this informative post.

  3. No, Ron Drake is not running against incumbent Larry Bucshon. That’s totally wrong; and destructively misleading to say anything like that. All political candidates, including me in the 8th district, are facing voters, not incumbents. You should not firewall away any of voters’ options. We need them all now more than ever. Right? Y’all have for decades given the Ds and Rs free 24/7/365 coverage of taxpayer-supported promotion at the expense of all alternatives. That’s plenty of head-start, money-in-the-pocket advantage for parties and people that don’t need any more free immunities, powers, privileges and money denied all others. Now it’s time to play fair and let voters know that there are, in fact, options. Much, much better, and not-corrupt options. Liberty or Bust! Andy Horning Libertarian for IN08 USA House of Representatives Freedom, Indiana

  4. A great idea! There is absolutely no need to incarcerate HRC's so-called "super predators" now that they can be adequately supervised on the streets by the BLM czars.

  5. One of the only qualms I have with this article is in the first paragraph, that heroin use is especially dangerous because it is highly addictive. All opioids are highly addictive. It is why, after becoming addicted to pain medications prescribed by their doctors for various reasons, people resort to heroin. There is a much deeper issue at play, and no drug use should be taken lightly in this category.

ADVERTISEMENT