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Martin Obtains Summary Judgment in Slip and Fall

Sean W. Martin, a shareholder in the Chattanooga, Tennessee office of Carr Allison, obtained summary judgment for his client in the United States District Court for the Middle District of Tennessee.

Mr. Martin’s client operates a commercial bakery. It contracted with a third party to perform sanitation services within its facility. The plaintiff was an employee of the third party sanitation company. While performing sanitation services within the defendant’s facility, the plaintiff slipped and fell. He claimed he slipped on glycerin that is used by the defendant in the baking process. Plaintiff sued the defendant for his personal injuries.

Since the plaintiff was injured performing services subject to a contract between the defendant and plaintiff’s immediate employer, and those services were the regular part of defendant’s business, which would otherwise have been performed by defendant’s employees absent the contract with plaintiff’s immediate employer, the Court found that the defendant was immune from suit under the exclusive remedy afforded principal contractors under the Tennessee Workers’ Compensation Act. Summary judgment was granted and no appeal was taken.

The full opinion of the court can be found at 2014 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 7790 (M.D. Tenn. Jan. 22, 2014); 2014 W.L. 233815 (W.D. Tenn. Jan. 22, 2014).

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