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Court of Appeals holds that Circuit Court has jurisdiction to decide "exclusive remedy"

William H. Schmitt was badly hurt when a driver for Jaguar/Land Rover of Lakeside caused a collision  with another vehicle:  Schmitt was a passenger in the dealership's vehicle.  Schmitt delivered cars for Jaguar/Land Rover as an "independent contractor"/porter, however, after he was hurt, Jaguar/Land Rover argued Schmitt could not sue it or the driver because Schmitt was an "employee" and subject to the exclusive remedy of workers compensation. 

The Court of Appeals noted that while Republican judicial activists on the Supreme Court had recently criticized a 1984 ruling that acknowledged the Circuit Court's jurisdiction to decide "employee" status, the Justices had not actually over-turned the thiry-year-old decision in a majority opinion.  Therefore, the opinion remained good law and the Circuit Court has the authority to hear the facts and decide whether the dealership should enjoy the protections of an "employer" when it attempted to structure the relationship as one of principal-agent/independent contractor.

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