In order for a contractor to be protected by workers compensation immunity, the contractor needs to be a “contractor” as used in Florida’s Workers Compensation law. This means the “contractor” must be performing work pursuant to a contract with another (e.g., the owner). In other words, the contractor’s obligations in performing labor, services, or materials must arise out of a contract with another. Otherwise, the company is not a contractor and, therefore, cannot be immune from tort liability under Florida’s Workers Compensation law. This makes sense, right?
For example, a company put on an airshow for the public. The company received approval from the FAA and, per FAA’s requirements, hired a security company to provide security during the airshow. A security guard got hurt and sued the company in negligence / tort for her injuries. The company argued that it should be protected under workers compensation immunity. But, the company would not be protected under workers compensation immunity if it was not a “contractor.” The company never showed that its obligations in putting on the airshow arose out a contract with another. Without this evidence establishing it was a “contractor,” the company could not be immune from tort liability from the injured security guard’s claims.
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