Tag Archives: Independant Contractor

March Supreme Court Certiorari Grants and Issues Justices Would Have Granted

Here is a short summary of the Court’s certiorari Orders from March.  See the Certiorari page and the pages for each individual Justice for more detailed information.  You can also follow the links to the CLR summaries or the underlying Court of Appeals opinions provided below.

On March 18, 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari in one case, and denied a petition that Justice Coats would have granted.

In City of Brighton and CIRSA, v. Helen M. Rodriquez, (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA1868), the Court granted certiorari to address issues under the Workers’ Compensation Act, CRS 8-41-301 and 8-43-201, arising from a fall that occurred during the course of an employee’s employment, but whose exact cause/mechanism was unknown, and whether the employer, who initially admitted liability for the injuries of its employee, met its burden to prove that the employee’s injuries did not arise out of the employee’s employment.

Justice Coats would have granted certiorari in McLaughlin, et. al. v. Oxley, et. al. (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA1136) to review the district court’s denial of summary judgment under CRS 13-21-117.5.

On March 25, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases, and denied a petition that Justice Eid would have granted.

In Hickerson v. Vessels (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA317), the Court granted certiorari to address the availability of the defense of laches against a timely filed claim for collection of a promissory note, where the statute of limitations period was extended by the partial payment doctrine.

In two related cases, the Court granted certiorari to address issues arising from the determination as to whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor when they do not provide similar services to others at the same time they are working for a putative employer:  Industrial Claim Appeals Office v.  Softrock Geological Services, Inc., and Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA2331) and  Western Logistics, Inc., d/b/a Diligent Delivery Systems v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, et. al. (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA2461).  In Western Logistics, the Court also agreed to address whether the delivery drivers were subject to petitioner’s control and direction.

Justice Eid would have granted certiorari in BNSF Railway Company v. McLaughlin (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA751) to address giving a jury instruction on apportionment of damages when the plaintiff’s preexisting condition was asymptomatic at the time of the incident.

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Filed under Workers Compensation

Western Logistics, Inc., d/b/a Diligent Delivery Systems, v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, 2012COA186 (October 25, 2012)

Delivery drivers being directed and controlled are not independent contractors. The Division of Employment and Training made a determination that 220 drivers working for a delivery business were employees for unemployment tax liability purposes, notwithstanding language in the drivers’ contracts stating they were independent contractors. The court of appeals upheld the administrative ruling based on the following facts: 1) the drivers were not customarily engaged in the delivery business, 2) they did not offer those services to others, 3) they were paid under their own names, 4) the business set prices, determined clients, and required compatible cell phones, among others, and 5) employer could terminate contracts without penalty, demonstrating a right to control the drivers. Thus, the drivers were employees for unemployment tax purposes under CRS 8-70-115(1)(b).

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/11CA2461-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8718&courtid=1

[Certiorari Granted]

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Filed under Administrative, Contracts, Government, Workers Compensation