Posts tagged "1109113"

Central Mutual Insurance Company v. True Plastics, Inc., et al. (Lawyers Weekly No. 11-091-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030; SJCReporter@sjc.state.ma.us       12‑P‑439                                        Appeals Court   CENTRAL MUTUAL INSURANCE COMPANY  vs.  TRUE PLASTICS, INC., & another.[1]     No. 12‑P‑439. Worcester.     January 14, 2013.  ‑  July 10, 2013. Present:  Cypher, Rubin, & Wolohojian, JJ.   Insurance, General liability insurance, Insurer’s obligation to defend, Coverage.  Indemnity.  Practice, Civil, Presumptions and burden of proof.  Words, “Temporary worker.”       Civil action commenced in the Superior Court Department on September 5, 2006.   The case was heard by Douglas H. Wilkins, J.     Richard W. Jensen (William A. Schneider with him) for the plaintiff. Paul F. Leavis for Marciala Sanchez.     WOLOHOJIAN, J.  At issue is whether a worker supplied to an insured by a labor leasing firm was “furnished . . . to meet . . . short-term workload conditions” such that she was a “temporary worker” within the meaning of the commercial general liability (CGL) insurance policy issued by the insurer Central Mutual Insurance Company (Central Mutual), to the insured, True Plastics, Inc. (True Plastics).  We agree with the trial judge’s determination that the particular worker at issue in this case was furnished to meet short-term workload conditions and, therefore, that she was a “temporary worker” within the meaning of the policy.  A worker is a “temporary worker” within the meaning of the policy if the insured holds (at the time the worker is furnished) an objectively reasonable expectation that the worker is furnished to meet a short-term workload condition.  We reject Central Mutual’s argument that a short-term workload condition must necessarily be of finite duration.   Background.  Marciala Sanchez was injured on October 14, 2004, while operating a molding machine at True Plastics.  Sanchez was not an employee of True Plastics; she had been assigned to True Plastics by an employment agency, Dynamic Staffing, Inc.[2]  Because of the accident, Sanchez made a claim for, and received, workers’ compensation benefits under Dynamic Staffing’s workers’ compensation insurance policy.  As was her right (and as contemplated under the workers’ compensation scheme, G. L. c. 152, § 15[3]), she also sued True Plastics to recover for her injuries.  True Plastics sought indemnification and a defense from Central Mutual, which brought the underlying action seeking a judgment declaring that it owed no duty under its CGL policy.[4]   In essence, Central Mutual’s position is that Sanchez was a leased employee (excluded under the policy), rather than a temporary employee (included under […]

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Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - July 10, 2013 at 4:53 pm

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