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Old 04-23-2007, 12:27 PM   #1 (permalink)
Junior Member
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 2
Business Contracts and Workers' Compensation

I have a company who does outsourced HR services for small businesses. One of my clients has a situation that I cannot seem to find assistance with.

He is a HVAC contractor who has a contract with a home builder to supply heating and air conditioning units in new home construction. It the contract is what would appear to be boilerplate language regarding liability ("Contractor recognizes that Contractor, and not XXX, is to be responsible for injuries to Contractor or its employees or for other claims arising from or relating to the work...")

One of his employees last summer fell from a roof and seriously injured himself. It was due to the Builders' ignorance of OSHA regulations regarding open spaces. He has not yet been back to work and has recently filed a personal injury lawsuit against the builder. This has gotten my client extremely upset due to the release of liability statement in the contract. He is under the impression that his own employee has now sued him. Obviously, according to Comp Law (NY), he cannot sue his employer; but the Comp Board has stopped processing the claim for now.

The 2 questions I have are: How can an employer speak for his employees in a matter such as this? Does he have the right to waive his employees' ability to receive compensation or to sue? And secondly, he is under the impression that he is substituted for the home builder in the lawsuit because of the clause.

Any help is appreciated. Additional information is available if someone has any ideas.
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