Ruble v. Arctic General, Inc.
Alaska Supreme Court
598 P.2d 95 (1979)
JIJ Nelson, Joint Venture (JIJ) was a contractor for a state highway project. JIJ contracted with Arctic General, Inc. (Arctic) (defendant) for Arctic to provide and maintain six pieces of heavy road equipment, including a road scraper, and operators for the equipment. Arctic hired Roy Ruble (plaintiff) to operate some of the equipment. Bud LaFon, a part owner of Arctic, supervised and directed Ruble. A few days after Ruble’s hire, the state told JIJ that to comply with federal and state law, JIJ either needed to make Arctic a subcontractor or to put Arctic’s operators on its payroll. JIJ put Arctic’s operators, including Ruble, on its payroll. Arctic paid JIJ for Ruble’s wages after JIJ paid Arctic the equipment rental fee, and Ruble continued to be supervised by LaFon. A few weeks later, Ruble was injured when a piece of the road scraper Ruble was operating became disengaged. Ruble reported his injury to LaFon, but Arctic did not file a report with the Workmen’s Compensation Board. Ruble filed a claim for workers’ compensation from JIJ and received benefits under that claim. Ruble then filed a tort action against Arctic, claiming that Arctic was negligent in maintaining the road scraper. The trial court granted Arctic’s motion for summary judgment, holding that Ruble was an Arctic employee and his exclusive remedy was workers’ compensation. Ruble appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Per curiam)
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