Generally, in personal injury lawsuits filed in Massachusetts, the plaintiff will assert a negligence claim against the defendant. A core element of negligence is duty; absent proof that the defendant owed some obligation to the plaintiff, a plaintiff’s negligence claim cannot prevail. Duties typically arise out of the relationships between the parties, but they can arise under a statute or regulation as well. Recently, a Massachusetts court analyzed what duty a general contractor owes an employee of its subcontractor in a case in which the court ultimately determined that no duty was owed. If you sustained injuries in an incident brought about by someone else’s negligence, you could be owed compensation, and it is in your best interest to confer with a Cape Cod personal injury attorney regarding your potential claims.
The Plaintiff’s Injuries
It is alleged that the plaintiff was working as a framer on a construction project when he fell from a scaffold, injuring his leg and foot. The plaintiff, who was employed by a subcontractor, brought negligence claims against the general contractor. The parties waived their right to a jury trial, and a bench trial was conducted. After the plaintiff presented his case, the defendant moved for involuntary dismissal pursuant to Rule 41(b)(2). The trial judge granted the motion, and the plaintiff appealed.
Duties General Contractors Owe to Employees of Their Subcontractors
On appeal, the appellate court noted that the trial court granted the defendant’s motion on the grounds that it did not owe any duty to the plaintiff. In Massachusetts, four elements comprise negligence: a duty owed by the defendant to the plaintiff, a breach of the duty, actual harm, and a connection between the harm suffered and the defendant’s breach. Continue Reading ›