TT&H Attorneys Jim Tinnyo and John Morgan Win Dismissal of Claim Petition Based on Lack of Employment Relationship
April 27, 2022
Thomas, Thomas & Hafer Attorneys Jim Tinnyo and John Morgan recently won a dismissal of a Claim Petition in Altoona, Pennsylvania, with the Court concluding that no employer/employee relationship existed. This case involved a seriously injured Claimant who alleged that he was employed by a small father-son construction company with no workers’ compensation insurance, or alternatively a statutory employee of the client a construction company, for whom the father and son were performing work. The Claimant’s orthopedic injuries were extensive, including extended hospital stays and multiple surgeries which posed significant medical and indemnity exposure. In reality, the father and son were temporarily housing the claimant while the claimant tried to start his own business. Rather than leave the claimant home alone or on the street, the father and son would take the claimant to their jobsites, with specific instructions not to perform any work.
Our direct and cross examination of the fact witnesses effectively showed and persuaded the WCJ that there was no evidence whatsoever of an employment relationship with any party. The WCJ, relying heavily on the fact that Claimant’s own testimony was often conflicting, rejected Claimant’s testimony and accepted the Employer witnesses who testified. Our client and the father and son witnesses consistently testified that the project the father and son was performing for the client was a personal project for which neither they nor the Claimant received any compensation. John Morgan wrote the brief and proposed findings of fact, the reasoning of which was largely adopted by the Court in its decision.