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RN cannot sue company that provided housekeeping services to Henry Ford Hospital

Lisa Caver is an RN employed by Henry Ford Hospital.  She was hurt at work when a housekeeper mopped a patient floor and did not erect any form of warning device.  The housekeeper was employed by Sodexo, Inc., which contracts to provide housekeepers to the hospital.  Sodexo sough summary disposition, arguing that it owed no duty to Caver because it's only duty was to Henry Ford by contract.  It argued that since it employed Powerlink Environmental Services to supervise housekeepers at Henry Ford, and was not "on site," it owed no common law duty of care to assure that housekeeping was performed reasonably safely.

The Court of Appeals agreed with the corporation and summarily dismissed the nurse's injury claim.  It ruled that Michigan law imposes a common law duty of reasonable care upon the employers of "borrowed" servants only if the employer remains involved in the performance of contracted tasks.  Since Powerlink supplied the bodies but did not go on Hospital property to tell them what to do or how to do it, it was granted summary disposition and is not responsible for the employees' negligence.

Thompson O’Neil, P.C.
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