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California Supreme Court grants Horvitz & Levy’s petition for review, depublishing Court of Appeal opinion.

July 20, 2011

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The California Supreme Court has granted a petition for review filed by Horvitz & Levy LLP, resulting in depublication of the Court of Appeal’s opinion in Tverberg v. Fillner Construction, Inc. (2011) 193 Cal.App.4th 1121.

The case involves the circumstances in which one who hires an independent contractor can be liable for injuries to the contractor (and/or the contractor’s employees) that occur during the course of the contractor’s work. One of the issues raised is the extent to which a hirer may be held liable where the contractor has performed his work in violation of a Cal-OSHA regulation. The Court of Appeal held that a hirer (in this case, a general contractor) could be liable for breach of a regulatory duty (here, the duty to cover open pits at a worksite) even where the undisputed evidence was that the general contractor expressly delegated to the subcontractor the duty to comply with the regulatory provision before the subcontractor’s performance of the work. The subcontractor was injured when he fell into one of the pits, which had been excavated in preparation for construction at the work site.

The briefing in the Supreme Court has been deferred pending the California Supreme Court’s resolution of a related issue in Seabright v. U.S. Airways (S182508).

A copy of the petition for review in Tverberg v. Fillner Construction, Inc. may be viewed here.

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