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Supreme Court overturns woman's right to pursue employers of independent contractor

Linda Sue Wolford suffered very severe injuries in a motor vehicle collision caused by Phillip Pikarski, an installer for Thumb Home Read Video, LLC, a DISH network contractor.  She sued THRV, arguing that under the law governing agency relationships, THRV was responsible for Pikarski's negligence. (Apparently, Pikarski did not carry adequate insurance coverage.)

After thoroughly reviewing the pertinent law and the contracts between THRV, Pikarski and DISH Network, the Court of Appeals majority concluded that it was a question of fact for the jury to decide whether Pikarski was an "independent" agent, or an agent for whom THRV was legally responsible.  The Supreme Court majority rejected this analysis in a one paragraph conclusion/opinion and dismissed Wolford's claim against THRV.  The higher court relied upon the analysis of Judge Christopher Murray, perhaps the most conservative and pro-insurance judge on the Court of Appeals, to summarily conclude that Pikaraski was independent.

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