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Lawsuit by injured roofer wrongly dismissed: Florida appeals court


A Florida appellate court on Wednesday reversed a decision granting summary judgment to a contractor who was sued by a worker who alleges he was injured during a fall while he was securing a tarp to the roof of a two-story residence in preparation for an insurance inspection.

The Florida Third District Court of Appeal found that a trial court wrongly determined Claudio Navarro failed to establish he was working under the direction of Alfredo Borges when he was injured in October 2017.

Mr. Borges sent Mr. Navarro to Palmetto Bay to place a tarp on the roof of a home damaged during Hurricane Irma, the ruling states. Mr. Navarro installed the tarp without incident.

Days later, Mr. Navarro, on a different job site, overheard workers discussing problems with the tarp, after which Mr. Borges “had given the order” for Mr. Navarro to fix the issue prior to the insurance inspection, the ruling states.

Mr. Navarro fell while attempting to correct the tarp problem without safety equipment and was injured.  

Mr. Borges argued he had no duty to provide safety equipment on the day of the incident because he said he didn’t order Mr. Navarro to go to the job site. The trial judge agreed with Mr. Borges.

The appeals court said Mr. Navarro presented evidence that Mr. Borges may have engaged in “misfeasance” rather than “nonfeasance,” and it remanded the case to the trial judge for further proceedings.