BI’s Article search uses Boolean search capabilities. If you are not familiar with these principles, here are some quick tips.

To search specifically for more than one word, put the search term in quotation marks. For example, “workers compensation”. This will limit your search to that combination of words.

To search for a combination of terms, use quotations and the & symbol. For example, “hurricane” & “loss”.

Login Register Subscribe

No workers comp benefits due taxi driver after being shot by passenger: Court

No workers comp benefits due taxi driver after being shot by passenger: Court

A North Carolina taxi driver who was shot by a passenger can't receive workers compensation benefits for his injuries because he was an independent contractor with his taxi company, a North Carolina appeals court ruled Tuesday.

Refik Ademovic was shot in the face by a passenger he was about to drop off in August 2011 while driving a cab for Charlotte, North Carolina-based Taxi USA L.L.C., which does business as Yellow Cab of Charlotte, according to court filings. He filed a claim for workers comp benefits within a week of the attack.

Taxi USA and its workers comp insurer, Minneapolis-based Riverport Insurance Co., denied Mr. Ademovic's claim in January 2012, saying that Mr. Ademovic was an independent contractor and not a Taxi USA employee.

After a hearing was held on Mr. Ademovic's employment status at the time of his accident, a member of the North Carolina Industrial Commission ruled in May 2013 that Mr. Ademovic was an independent contractor and not eligible for workers comp benefits. The commissioner found that Mr. Ademovic signed an agreement with Taxi USA indicating that he was a self-employed business person, that Taxi USA did not pay wages or dictate work schedules for Mr. Ademovic and that Mr. Ademovic owned and was responsible for maintaining his cab.

On appeal from Mr. Ademovic, the full North Carolina Industrial Commission reversed the prior decision and found that Mr. Ademovic was an employee eligible for workers comp benefits. The commission noted that Mr. Ademovic did not own a taxi prior to working for Taxi USA, that Taxi USA provided Mr. Ademovic with a company-issued cell phone and other equipment, and that Mr. Ademovic's work was a “necessary and integral part” of Taxi USA's business.

A three-judge panel of the North Carolina Court of Appeals unanimously reversed the commission's decision Tuesday, finding that Mr. Ademovic was an independent contractor for Taxi USA and could not receive workers comp for his shooting injuries.

Though Taxi USA had some control over aspects of Mr. Ademovic's work, such as the equipment he used while driving, Mr. Ademovic had autonomy that showed he was not a Taxi USA employee, the court found.

Taxi USA “did not pay plaintiff any wages, but plaintiff paid defendant Taxi (USA) a weekly flat franchise fee of $195.00,” the ruling reads. “Defendant Taxi did not determine the number of days or the number of hours plaintiff worked, instead allowing plaintiff to determine his own work schedule. In addition, plaintiff was not required to use defendant Taxi's dispatch services to pick up fares. Plaintiff was free to accept hailed fares, go to taxi stands to pick up customers, or obtain personal customers.”

Read Next