273 S.W.2d 28 (Ark. 1954), 5-572, Baldwin Co. v. Maner

Docket Nº:5-572.
Citation:273 S.W.2d 28, 224 Ark. 348
Opinion Judge:ROBINSON, Justice.
Party Name:THE BALDWIN COMPANY, Petitioner, v. Ernest MANER, Judge, Respondent.
Attorney:Wright, Harrison, Lindsey & Upton, Little Rock, for appellant. Cole & Epperson, Malvern, Goodwin & Riffel, Little Rock, for appellee.
Case Date:December 06, 1954
Court:Supreme Court of Arkansas
 
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Page 28

273 S.W.2d 28 (Ark. 1954)

224 Ark. 348

THE BALDWIN COMPANY, Petitioner,

v.

Ernest MANER, Judge, Respondent.

No. 5-572.

Supreme Court of Arkansas.

December 6, 1954

Proceeding on prime contractor's petition for a writ of prohibition alleging that Circuit Court, Hot Springs County, was: without jurisdiction to entertain personal injury action by subcontractor's employee. The Supreme Court, Robinson, J., held that under statute providing that where subcontractor fails to secure compensation required by Workmen's Compensation Act prime contractor shall be liable for compensation to employees of subcontractor, prime contractor, whose subcontractor had secured payment for compensation to his employees, was not an ‘ employer’ of subcontractor's injured employee, and was subject to common-law action in tort for injuries sustained by employee.

Writ denied.

Page 29

Wright, Harrison, Lindsey & Upton, Little Rock, for appellant.

Cole & Epperson, Malvern, Goodwin & Riffel, Little Rock, for appellee.

ROBINSON, Justice.

W. E. Armstrong, an employee of a subcontractor, the Southwest Electric Company, filed a personal injury suit in the Hot Spring Circuit Court against the petitioner herein, The Baldwin Company, prime contractors in the construction of a building for General Motors Corporation. The Baldwin Company filed in this court a petition for a writ of prohibition alleging that the Circuit Court is without jurisdiction because the subcontractor Southwest Electric Company carried workmen's compensation insurance and Armstrong has derived the benefits thereof, and that he therefore has no cause of action against the prime contractor, it being contended that Armstrong's remedy under the workmen's compensation law is exclusive as to the prime contractor as well as to the subcontractor. It is Armstrong's contention that the prime contractor [224 Ark. 349] is in this case a third party and therefore subject to a common-law action in tort.

The facts are stipulated. It is agreed that the petitioner Baldwin was the general contractor; that Armstrong was an employee of the Southwest Electric Company, one of the subcontractors on the job; and that Armstrong fell into a pit situated on the job while in the due course of his employment as an employee of the Southwest Electric Company; that Armstrong's employer, Southwest Electric Company, carried workmen's compensation insurance; and that the insurance carrier has paid workmen's compensation benefits to Armstrong as a result of the injuries alleged to have been sustained, the payments having been made under the workmen's compensation law.

There is only one issue: Is the prime contractor subject to a common law action in tort brought by one employed by a subcontractor for injuries sustained in...

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