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Amputation of Plaintiff’s Dominant Arm Nets Zero in Cook County Motion for Summary Judgment Ruling

Edward B. Ruff, III and Suzanne M. Crowley obtained summary judgment for their client in a negligence action where the plaintiff suffered a dominant mid-arm amputation while using a lathe. Plaintiff was a temporary employee assigned to the defendant’s facility by a staffing agency. Pretzel & Stouffer argued the defendant was immune from liability because the plaintiff was a borrowed employee pursuant to the loaned servant doctrine. The court agreed to bar a plaintiff from filing an action against the defendant. As a result, the plaintiff’s exclusive remedy was pursuant to the Workers’ Compensation Act.

The trial court rejected plaintiff’s arguments that the questions of fact were created by the staffing agency’s visits with the plaintiff after his assignment to defendant’s facility and his belief that the staffing agency was his employer. The court also disagreed that the terms of the staffing agreement between the defendant and the staffing agency precluded the finding that an implied contract existed between plaintiff and defendant even though the agreement stated that plaintiff was exclusively an employee of the loaning employer. Pretzel & Stouffer argued that the terms of the staffing agreement had no bearing on whether the plaintiff had a contract for hire with the defendant.

Prior to obtaining summary judgment, plaintiff made an eight-figure settlement demand and rejected all offers by the defendant.

January 2018 | Firm News