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Lawsuit by comp insurer wrongly dismissed: Appeals court

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The Court of Appeal of Louisiana reversed a lower court’s decision to dismiss a case brought by a workers compensation insurer that sought to be reimbursed for costs paid to treat an injured worker.

The appellate court ruled Tuesday that the trial judge wrongly dismissed the case brought by Stonetrust Commercial Insurance Co. against TBT Contracting Inc.

Gary Andras, an employee of subcontractor Naquin Electrical Inc., was injured in June 2019 after falling through a hole cut for an attic access door. Stonetrust paid comp medical and indemnity benefits.

Stonetrust filed a petition for damages in subrogation against TBT and others seeking reimbursement, but TBT asserted that it had statutory employer immunity because workers comp is the exclusive remedy to treat injured workers.

A trial court in March 2022 ruled for TBT, and Stonetrust appealed.

The appeals court ruled TBT failed to meet its burden of showing it was Mr. Andras’ statutory employer and that granting summary judgment to TBT was improper at that stage of the litigation.