Pennsylvania Supreme Court

Case Status


Docket Number

21 EAP 2015


Case Updates

PA court reaffirms traditional independent contractor defense to tort actions

October 27, 2015

The Supreme Court of Pennsylvania affirmed the order of the Superior Court dismissing a tort action against a property owner brought by an employee of an independent contractor.

U.S. Chamber, et al. files amicus brief

September 10, 2015

In its coalition amicus brief, the U.S. Chamber urged the Pennsylvania Supreme Court to reaffirm the longstanding rule that a property owner may not be held liable for injuries that occur to the employees of an independent contractor if the property owner did not “retain control” over significant aspects of the contractor’s work that gave rise to the injury. In this case, the employee of an independent contractor hired by the defendant suffered injuries from a fall while painting an electric utility transmission pole.

The brief warned that the plaintiff's proposed rule, if adopted by the Pennsylvania Supreme Court, would unsettle the independent contracting business model by altering the allocation of risk between landowners and independent contractors.

The National Federation of Independent Business Small Business Legal Center and Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry filed this brief jointly with the Chamber.

Robert L. Byer and Sarah O'Laughlin Kulik of Duane Morris LLP served as co-counsel for the amici with the U.S. Chamber.

Case Documents