Insurer ordered to pay again thousands and thousands in staff’ compensation to trucking agency

A federal jury in Ohio has ruled an Illinois-based insurer must reimburse $ 2 million a freight company paid to an employee who was seriously injured at work after finding the company was eligible for the full Amount of his policy.

The jury joined Ohio-based PI & I. Motor Express Inc. after determining that the injured worker was a temporary worker who, according to a Law360 report, was exempt from employer’s liability under RLI Insurance’s company policy.

Contract worker Ryan Marshall was permanently disabled after a 2014 accident resulted in the amputation of both of his legs. He sued Motor Express for pain, suffering and other harm. The forwarding company set up shop with Marshall in 2019.

In the same year, Motor Express filed a lawsuit against RLI Insurance for breach of the insurance contract after the insurer refused to pay compensation.

The insurer argued that Marshall’s claims against Motor Express were precluded by employers’ liability and exclusions from employee compensation because he was a “legal” employee of the company.

The shipping company replied that Marshall was a temporary worker with an independent contract at the time of the accident. The company added that it only hires independent contractors and does not own the trucks it operates or employ permanent staff.

The judges joined Motor Express in finding that Marshall was a temporary worker, making employers’ liability and employee compensation exclusions inapplicable.

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