Status as nonemployee foils benefits for owner-operator of dump truck
Case name: Davidson v. Missouri State Treasurer as Custodian of the Second Injury Fund, No. SD30536
(Mo. Ct. App. 12/07/10).
Ruling: The Missouri Court of Appeals held that a worker was not entitled to second job wage loss benefits from the second injury fund.
What it means:
To be eligible for second job wage loss benefits, a worker must be "employed by more than one employer." In Missouri, the owner-operator of a dump truck that is leased out for hire is not an employee of the trucking company and is not eligible to receive second job wage loss benefits.
Summary: A worker was the owner-operator of a dump truck, which he used to haul asphalt and building materials under a lease agreement with a trucking company. He was also a volunteer fireman. While responding to a fire call, the worker was injured when he fell onto some concrete blocks. His injuries left him unable to work for five weeks. After he settled his claim for workers' compensation with the fire protection district, he filed a claim against the second injury fund for second job wage loss benefits, based on income he would have earned operating his dump truck during the time he was unable to work. The Missouri Court of Appeals held that the worker was not entitled to second job wage loss benefits from the second injury fund because he was not "employed by more than one employer."
The worker argued that his status as an employee was established by his primary injury status as a fireman, which did not preclude second job wage loss benefits. In a matter of first impression, the court disagreed, calling the worker's argument "dubious." According to state workers' compensation law, the worker was not an employee of the trucking company in his capacity as the owner-operator of the dump truck, which he leased. He could not have received workers' compensation benefits for an injury he suffered while driving his dump truck. The court noted that no evidence showed that the trucking company had any employees or had purchased workers' compensation insurance.
Read more at the WorkersComp Forum homepage.
January 27, 2011
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