US Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit Opinions
Coleman v. BP Exploration & Production, Inc.
Opinion Date: November 29, 2021
Judge: Don R. Willett
Areas of Law: Labor & Employment Law, Personal Injury
The Fifth Circuit affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of defendants in an action brought by plaintiff, an oil-platform worker, after he injured his back while building scaffolding. Plaintiff filed suit against the companies managing both the day-to-day construction and the overall construction project. The court concluded, however, that a reasonable jury could not find that either company was liable for the worker's injury because neither was his direct employer. In this case, the Hickman factors weigh in favor of holding that plaintiff was Grand Isle and BP's independent contractor. Furthermore, the court agreed with the district court that the operational-control exception did not apply as to either BP or Grand Isle.
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