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Mill Street Church of Christ v. Hogan

Court of Appeals of Kentucky
785 S.W.2d 263 (1990)


Facts

Mill Street Church of Christ (Church) (defendant) regularly hired Bill Hogan to paint and maintain the church building over a period of time.  The Church had routinely allowed Bill Hogan to hire his brother Sam Hogan (plaintiff) as an assistant on painting projects. In 1986, Church Elder Dr. Waggoner hired Bill Hogan again to paint the church.  No mention of hiring a helper was made during the discussion between Dr. Waggoner and Bill Hogan. During his painting, Bill Hogan reached a point where he could not finish the job without an assistant. Bill Hogan approached Dr. Waggoner about hiring a helper. The parties agreed that a helper was necessary and discussed the possibility of hiring a Mr. Petty to assist, but Dr. Waggoner acknowledged that Mr. Petty was hard to reach. The next day, Bill Hogan offered Sam Hogan the helper job. After hearing the details of the position, Sam Hogan accepted the offer and commenced work. A half hour after he started work, Sam Hogan fell and sustained an injury that required hospitalization. Bill Hogan reported the accident to the Church treasurer, who paid Bill Hogan for hours spent on the project, including the half hour Sam Hogan worked. Sam Hogan filed a claim for workers’ compensation. The Old Workers’ Compensation Board (Old Board) ruled that Sam Hogan was not an employee of the Church and denied his compensation claim. The New Board reversed the Old Board’s ruling, concluding that Bill Hogan had implied authority as a Church agent to hire Sam Hogan, and that Sam Hogan was a Church employee entitled to compensation. The Church petitioned for review of the New Board’s decision.

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Holding and Reasoning (Howard, J.)

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