Court holds paraplegiac cannot sue farm for tractor driver's negligence
Mary Armbruster suffered a spinal cord injury and permanent paralysis when she was run over by a wagon at a farm market. The farm owner had hired Burt Hoey to operate a hayride at the market. Hoey hired Armbruster to work with him and paid her in cash.
The farmer had purchased commercial insurance from Western World Ins. Co., but Western World argued the insurance did not cover this incident because Armbruster was an "emloyee" of the insured. In a declaratory judgment action brought by the insurer, the Court held that the paraplegiac victim's injuries were not covered under the insurance policy the farmer bought, because she had been hired by the farm's agent, Hoey, to help him, and therefore she was an "employee' of the farm excluded from its insurance coverage, even though she had no dealings with the farm owner and was paid in cash by Hoey.