A Pennsylvania judge has overruled a defendant’s preliminary objections to being named in a joinder complaint to an initial workplace injury case. The judge stated that the defendant had 20 days from the judicial order to file a response to the suit.

An employee of the defendant who was working on a construction site where the defendant was a subcontractor had filed a lawsuit against the general contractor after sustaining an injury after a fall on the site. The general contractor in turn filed the joinder complaint against the defendant, stating that in the subcontracting agreement the defendant had agreed to indemnify the contractor and hold it harmless from any lawsuits brought by employees of the defendant who were injured on the job.

While the defendant claimed that it should be immune from liability under the Workers’ Compensation Act, the contractor alleged that the subcontracting agreement did not contain the proper language. The judge found that the subcontracting agreement indeed contained clear language providing for the indemnification of the contractor by the defendant, but indicated that the issue of indemnification could turn on whether the contractor had received prior notice of the potentially unsafe working condition.

Someone injured in a workplace accident may wish to speak with an attorney who has experience in workers’ compensation matters. The attorney may be able to determine whether the person is eligible for benefits under the law, and may be able to help assemble and prepare documents that may be necessary to perfect a claim for lost compensation and other damages.

Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Phila. judge overrules preliminary objections in workplace injury case“, Jon Campisi, October 04, 2013