Sheets v. J.H. Heath Tree Service, Inc.

Decision Date29 September 1989
Docket NumberNo. A89A1580,A89A1580
Citation193 Ga.App. 278,387 S.E.2d 155
PartiesSHEETS v. J.H. HEATH TREE SERVICE, INC.
CourtGeorgia Court of Appeals

Jean W. Levy, for appellant.

Webb, Carlock, Copeland, Semler & Stair, Dennis J. Webb, E. Alan Miller, Atlanta, for appellee.

CARLEY, Chief Judge.

Appellant-plaintiff was employed by Labor Pool. Labor Pool is in the business of making its employees available to others on a temporary basis. Appellee-defendant contracted with Labor Pool for four temporary laborers to assist in a land-clearing project. Appellant was one of the four Labor Pool employees who was provided to appellee. While engaged in the performance of his duties as appellee's temporary laborer, appellant was injured. He received workers' compensation benefits from Labor Pool. Appellant then brought this tort action against appellee. Appellee answered and raised the defense that pursuant to OCGA § 34-9-11, workers' compensation was appellant's exclusive remedy. Subsequently, appellee moved for summary judgment. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of appellee, finding that the undisputed evidence of record showed that appellant was appellee's "borrowed servant." Appellant appeals from the grant of summary judgment in appellee's favor.

" '(I)n order for an employee to be a borrowed employee, the evidence must show that "(1) the special master had complete control and direction of the servant for the occasion; (2) the general master had no such control; and (3) the special master had the exclusive right to discharge the servant." (Cit.)' [Cit.] All of these elements must exist and the element of the right to control relates specifically to the occasion when the injury occurred. [Cit.]" Food Giant v. Davison, 184 Ga.App. 742, 743, 362 S.E.2d 447 (1987). The evidence of record establishes that Labor Pool, as appellant's general master, is in the very business of temporarily "loaning" its employees to others. Compare Shannon v. Combustion Engineering, 188 Ga.App. 239, 372 S.E.2d 818 (1988); Food Giant v. Davison, supra. So long as appellant was unassigned to a special master, Labor Pool obviously retained some control over him, including the right to terminate his employment as its "lendable servant." However, once there was an assignment of appellant to a special master, Labor Pool relinquished that control during the existence of the "borrowed servant" relationship. Insofar as the land-clearing...

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4 cases
  • Preston v. Georgia Power Co.
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • July 16, 1997
    ...labor service "is in the very business of temporarily 'loaning' its employees to others[,] [cits.]," Sheets v. J. H. Heath Tree Svc., 193 Ga.App. 278, 279, 387 S.E.2d 155 (1989), this Court has repeatedly considered the employment status of such agency employees. See, e.g., Staffing Resourc......
  • Osborne v. State, A89A1300
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • October 6, 1989
  • Coca-Cola Co. v. Nicks
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • November 18, 1994
    ...relates specifically to the occasion when the injury occurred." (Citations and punctuation omitted.) Sheets v. J.H. Heath Tree Svc., 193 Ga.App. 278, 279, 387 S.E.2d 155 (1989). See also Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 374 S.E.2d 821 (1988). Volt, the general employer in this case, assign......
  • Staffing Resources, Inc. v. Nash
    • United States
    • Georgia Court of Appeals
    • August 28, 1995
    ...issue was addressed by this court in Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 374 S.E.2d 821 (1988); see also Sheets v. J.H. Heath Tree Svc., 193 Ga.App. 278, 387 S.E.2d 155 (1989). In Stephens, a temporary employee sued her temporary employer after she was injured by another employee. The tempora......
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