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Rogers v. Hadju

Court of Appeals of Tennessee, Jackson

March 22, 2017

JOE PATTON ROGERS, ET AL.
v.
BRADLEY DEAN HADJU, ET AL. [1]

          Session February 15, 2017

         Appeal from the Circuit Court for Dyer County No. 2014-CV-101 William B. Acree, Senior Judge

         Appellants filed this lawsuit against Appellees for damages resulting from the alleged negligence of Appellees' subcontractor. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Appellees, ruling that they could not be vicariously liable for the subcontractor's negligence because the uncontroverted facts conclusively established that the subcontractor was an independent contractor. We affirm.

         Tenn. R. App. P. 3 Appeal as of Right; Judgment of the Circuit Court Affirmed and

         Remanded

          Christi L. Dalton and Jack D. Lowery, Lafayette, Tennessee, and Christopher Beauchamp, Lebanon, Tennessee, for the appellants, Joe Patton Rogers and Judy Rogers.

          Nathan E. Shelby, Brandon J. Stout, and Addie M. Wilson, Jackson, Tennessee, for the appellees, Kerr Brothers & Associates, Inc. and Traf-Mark Industries, LLC.

          Matthew W. Willis and Lacee North Hudspeth, Dyersburg, Tennessee, for the appellee, Ford Construction Company.

          Arnold B. Goldin, J., delivered the opinion of the court, in which D. Michael Swiney, C.J., and J. Steven Stafford, P.J., W.S., joined.

          OPINION

          ARNOLD B. GOLDIN, JUDGE

         Background and Procedural History

          Ford Construction Company ("Ford Construction") entered into a contract with the Tennessee Department of Transportation to perform construction on U.S. Highway 412 in Dyer County, Tennessee. Ford Construction entered into a subcontract with Traf-Mark Industries, LLC ("Traf-Mark") for a portion of the work. Traf-Mark then entered into a subcontract with Kerr Brothers and Associates, Inc. ("Kerr Brothers"). Kerr Brothers then entered into a subcontract with Randy Hodges d/b/a RDH Contracting ("RDH Contracting").

         On December 19, 2013, employees of Ford Construction and RDH Contracting were working in a cordoned off portion of the construction site when an employee of Ford Construction, Joe Rogers, while attempting to cross a section of the highway to reach his work site, was struck by a truck that was owned by RDH Contracting and being backed up by one of its employees, Bradley Hajdu. The accident caused Mr. Rogers to suffer permanent debilitating injuries.

         On December 16, 2014, Mr. Rogers and his wife, Judy Rogers (together, "Appellants"), filed a complaint against Traf-Mark, Kerr Brothers, RDH Contracting, and Mr. Hajdu in the Dyer County Circuit Court. The complaint alleged that Mr. Hajdu was operating the truck negligently when it hit and ran over Mr. Rogers. The complaint further alleged that Traf-Mark, Kerr Brothers, and RDH Contracting were vicariously liable for Mr. Hajdu's negligence because he was acting in the scope of his employment with them at the time of the incident. In May 2014, the trial court entered a consent ...


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