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Court determines question of employee or independent contractor is one for the jury

Bristol West and Amerisure Mutual ended up in Court, arguing over who should provide PIP benefits to an injured truck driver.  Bristol West insured the driver for no fault benefits, while Amerisure insured the company for whom he was driving.  The trial court had heard the evidence under the "economic reality" test and the McKissic opinion, and concluded that the driver was an independent contractor.  The Court of Appeals reversed, sending the case back for the jury to resolve the factual disputes arising out of controverted testimony.  Witnesses disagreed over some of the factors determining employment status, and ultimately the issue was one for the finder of fact to sort out:  the Court was not allowed to make findings of fact in order to support its ruling over independent contractor status.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
309 East Front Street
Traverse City, Michigan 49684
Toll Free: 1-800-678-1307
Fax: 231-929-7262