C&H Taxi Co. v. Richardson

In C&H Taxi Co. v. Richardson, 194 W.Va. 696, 461 S.E.2d 442 (1995), the Court considered a claim by a taxi company that the company did not have the responsibility for paying workers' compensation premiums for the benefit of the drivers who drove the company's taxicabs. The driver and company had executed a vehicle lease that clearly denominated the driver as an "independent contractor" and repudiated any master-servant relationship. The Court held in C&H that the taxicab company exercised significant powers of control over the driver, including the right to terminate the relationship and to specify the day-to-day duties of the drivers; and we noted that the operation of the taxis was an integral part of the company's business. The Court held that the conclusion by the Workers' Compensation Fund that the drivers were not independent contractors was a reasonable one, "the disclaimers of the lease concerning the status of the drivers notwithstanding." 194 W.Va. at 703, 461 S.E.2d at 449.