Thompson v. Jess

In Thompson v. Jess, 1999 UT 22, P 13, 979 P.2d 322, the Court concluded that a premises owner who asked a contractor to erect a steel pipe was not liable for a worker's injuries because the owner had not instructed the contractor as to the specifics of how to install the pipe. Formally adopting an "active participation" standard, we held that "a principal employer is not subject to liability for injuries arising out of its contractor's work unless the employer 'actively participates' in the performance of the work." Id. Applying this standard, the Court determined that a principal employer is subject to liability for injuries arising out of its independent contractor's work if the employer is actively involved in, or asserts control over, the manner of performance of the contracted work. . . . Such an assertion of control occurs . . . when the principal employer directs that the contracted work be done by use of a certain mode or otherwise interferes with the means and methods by which the work is to be accomplished. Id.