The DAZ Company was a contractor who was working on building a home. There were various other subcontractors on the job, each with several employees.
After DAZ had completed the exterior of the home, they moved the scaffolding inside to finish the job. One of the employees of another subcontractor thereafter walked into a plank of the scaffolding, knocking a hammer off, which fell out the window and struck and injured a man walking along the road. The man sued DAZ for negligence.
DID THE COURT RULE FOR OR AGAINST THE INJURED MAN?
The court ruled for the injured man. The hammer on the scaffolding did not necessarily create a dangerous condition on the jobsite, but the act of kicking the hammer off the scaffolding onto a nearby innocent bystander was deemed to be negligent. The DAZ Company, as the general contractor, owed duties of care to all. The court ruled that the general contractor was vicariously liable for the negligence of the workers on the job, as it was in the best position to ensure that safety practices and procedures were followed.
The court awarded the injured man his medical expenses, and reasonable compensation for his pain and suffering.