Inmon v. Crane Rental Servs., Inc
In Inmon v. Crane Rental Servs., Inc., 205 Ariz. 130, 133, P11, 67 P.3d 726, 729 (App. 2003) the Court determined that the lent employee doctrine did not apply to the facts presented. 205 Ariz. at 133, P8, 67 P.3d at 729.
In that case, CRSI, the general employer of the crane operator who caused the plaintiffs' injury, sought to dismiss the injured plaintiffs' suit against it. Id. at 131-32, PP1-3, 67 P.3d at 727-28.
It did so by alleging that because its employee, the crane operator who was working on the same job site as the injured plaintiffs, was under the direction of the plaintiffs' employer, CRSI's crane operator had become the "lent employee" of the plaintiffs' employer. Id. at 133, P7, 67 P.3d at 729.
CRSI thus argued that, because the lent employee doctrine made its employee the co-employee of the injured plaintiffs, the injured plaintiffs could not sue either it or its employee pursuant to the workers' compensation statute. Id. at P9.
The Court rejected that argument and held that because the injured employees had no employment relationship, either special or general, with CRSI, and CRSI had no obligation to provide the injured plaintiffs with workers' compensation coverage, the "lent employee" doctrine did not apply. Id. at 134, PP13-14, 67 P.3d at 730.
Thus the doctrine did not operate to make CRSI's employee the co-employee of the two injured plaintiffs. Id. Nor did it immunize CRSI from the plaintiffs' suit against it. Id.
After determining that the plaintiffs could bring their suit against CRSI, we then continued to analyze whether the plaintiffs could bring their suit against the crane operator who was CRSI's employee. Id. at 134, P15, 67 P.3d at 730.
In holding that plaintiffs could bring such a suit we noted that 23-1023(A) explicitly authorized a plaintiff "injured . . . by the negligence . . . of another not in the same employ," to "pursue his remedy against such other person" even if the plaintiff is otherwise entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Id. at 132-33, P7, 67 P.3d at 728-29.
The Court thus noted that for purposes of interpreting 23-1023(A) consistently with 23-1022(A), the crane operator was not a co-employee of the injured plaintiffs because the "lent employee" doctrine did not apply to make them co-employees. Id. at 134, P15, 67 P.3d at 730.
Thus because they were not co-employees, they were not in the same employ and plaintiffs could bring their claim against the crane operator. Id.