Wright Associates, Inc. v. Rieder
Georgia Supreme Court
247 Ga. 496, 277 S.E.2d 41 (1981)
The Georgia Education Authority contracted with general contractor Wright Associates, Inc. (Wright) (defendant) to construct a building at a junior college. Wright contracted with independent subcontractor Eastern Steel Erectors, Inc. (Eastern) for some of the construction work. Wright’s contract with Eastern required Eastern to carry workers’-compensation insurance and to agree to indemnify Wright in the event Wright was held liable to any of Eastern’s employees for workers’-compensation benefits. Thomas Rieder (plaintiff), an Eastern employee, was injured in an accident at the construction site. Rieder received workers’-compensation benefits from Eastern for his injuries. Rieder then sued Wright in Georgia state court, alleging that his injury had been caused by a Wright employee’s negligence. Wright moved for summary judgment on Rieder’s negligence claim. Wright argued that Rieder’s tort action was barred because under Georgia’s workers’-compensation statute, Wright, as the principal contractor, was liable to Rieder only to the same extent as Eastern, Rieder’s immediate employer. The trial court denied Wright’s summary-judgment motion, and the appellate court denied review. Wright appealed to the Georgia Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J.)
Dissent (Undercofler, J.)
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