Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. v. Worker's Compensation Appeals Board

116 Cal. Rptr. 3d 153, 188 Cal. App. 4th 1330 (2010)

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Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. v. Worker’s Compensation Appeals Board

California Court of Appeal
116 Cal. Rptr. 3d 153, 188 Cal. App. 4th 1330 (2010)

Facts

Paul Hunt, Mark Mom, Curtis Embry, and Dave McGarry worked for Bigge Crane & Rigging Co. (Bigge) (plaintiff). Mom was responsible for working a large crane and often worked with the ironworkers. At the beginning of each night shift, Embry conducted a meeting with the crew. On the day of the accident, Embry directed Hunt and the crew to help dismantle the crane. Mom needed an oiler to assist him with the crane, so McGarry helped. McGarry and Embry were called away to operate another crane. Before he stepped away, Embry knew there were available blocks to support the beam and that one of the sections was already blocked. Mom went over to Hunt to hammer a bottom pin from the next boom section of the crane. Mom called for the crew to have their feet out of the way before hammering. However, the boom was not supported and fell onto Hunt’s lower leg and ankle, causing injuries. Hunt filed for additional compensation, alleging that his injuries were caused by Bigge’s serious and willful misconduct. Hunt, Embry, and McGarry testified at a hearing, and Mom’s testimony before the Occupational Safety and Health Appeals Board was brought into the record. The workers’-compensation judge (WCJ) awarded benefits, finding that the injury was caused by serious and willful misconduct of a managing representative by placing Hunt in a knowing and obvious position of danger without safety precautions, and by violating a safety order by failing to properly block a boom that was being disassembled. In the past, Bigge had been cited for violating safety orders. The WCJ found that Embry was a managing representative because a discretionary power of direction had been delegated to him in his position. Bigge filed a petition for reconsideration, which was denied by the Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board (the board) (defendant). Bigge filed a petition for a writ of review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Banke, J.)

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