A federal jury in Ohio decided last month that an Illinois-based insurer must reimburse $2 million to trucking company PI&I Motor Express Inc. that it paid to a contractor who was severely injured at work, Reuters reported .
The insurance provider, RLI Insurance, had claimed the injured worker was an employee of PI&I Motor Express and that the company’s general liability policy excluded employees. The jury found that the worker was a temporary employee, thus exempt from the employers’ liability exclusion.
Ryan Marshall worked as an independent contractor driver for Russell Trucking assigned to Dura-Bond Industries; Russell Trucking itself was a subcontractor operating its trucks under PI&I Motor Express’ operating authority, according to court documents . Marshall became permanently disabled after a 2014 accident at the Dura-Bond facility resulted in the amputation of both his legs.
Marshall filed a lawsuit in state court asserting tort liability against PI&I Motor Express, Dura-Bond, Russell Trucking and others. In 2019, PI&I Motor Express settled with Marshall; that same year, PI&I Motor Express sought indemnification from RLI Insurance under its general liability policy.