Stephens v. Oates

Citation374 S.E.2d 821,189 Ga.App. 6
Decision Date24 October 1988
Docket Number77292,Nos. 77246,s. 77246
PartiesSTEPHENS v. OATES et al.; OATES v. STEPHENS.
CourtUnited States Court of Appeals (Georgia)

Robert H. Malone III, Macon, for appellant.

Wallace Miller III, Dan Bullard IV, Macon, for appellees.

SOGNIER, Judge.

Geneva Knight Stephens brought suit against Kenneth Oates, Jr., and TG & Y Stores, Inc. to recover damages for injuries she suffered when a forklift driven by Oates, a TG & Y employee, collided with a cart pulled by Stephens, an employee of Kelly Temporary Services, Inc. (Kelly) on assignment at a TG & Y warehouse pursuant to a contract between TG & Y and Kelly. Oates and TG & Y moved for summary judgment on the grounds that workers' compensation benefits were Stephens' exclusive remedy, both because Stephens was the borrowed servant of TG & Y and because TG & Y was her statutory employer. The trial court determined that Stephens was the borrowed servant of TG & Y and therefore granted summary judgment in favor of Oates and TG & Y, which is the subject of Stephens' appeal in Case No. 77246. Oates and TG & Y filed a cross-appeal in Case No. 77292, contingent upon reversal in the main appeal, based on the denial of their motion on the alternate statutory employer ground.

1. In the main appeal, Stephens contends the trial court erred by granting summary judgment to Oates and TG & Y because the three-pronged test for establishing that she was TG & Y's borrowed servant was not met. The definitive test for determining whether an employee is a "borrowed servant" was set forth in U.S. Fidelity, etc., Co. v. Forrester, 230 Ga. 182, 183, 196 S.E.2d 133 (1973). 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." Id. In Six Flags Over Ga. v. Hill, 247 Ga. 375, 377-378(1), 276 S.E.2d 572 (1981), the Supreme Court further refined this test by indicating that all three prongs of the test must focus on "the occasion when the injury occurred" rather than the work relationship in general. We must apply this test to the facts in the case sub judice.

The record reveals that Kelly is a national corporation which supplies temporary personnel. All personnel supplied by Kelly were paid directly by Kelly. The approximately one dozen employees supplied by Kelly to work at TG & Y's warehouse were supervised by TG & Y personnel. There were no distinctions between the work assignments given to the temporary (Kelly) employees and TG & Y's own, permanent employees. They worked side by side, at the same tasks. Stephens testified by deposition that on her first day of work at TG & Y, she went to an orientation at which two TG & Y employees instructed the Kelly workers as to their duties. She further testified there were no differences between the TG & Y employees and the Kelly personnel regarding privileges, parking, dress code, or amount of hours worked. Stephens received her assignments from Carl, a TG & Y employee. Carl also assigned another TG & Y employee to show her how to perform her work, e.g., how to read orders, "pull" the orders, and retrieve the merchandise from the shelves to fill the orders. She was also instructed as to when she was to do certain tasks....

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13 cases
  • Garden City v. Herrera
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 18 Noviembre 2014
    ...of the test must focus on the occasion when the injury occurred rather than the work relationship in general.”); Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 7(1), 374 S.E.2d 821 (1988) (citing Six Flags and explaining that our Supreme Court has “refined [the borrowed-servant] test by indicating that ......
  • Preston v. Georgia Power Co.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 16 Julio 1997
    ...of the test must focus on 'the occasion when the injury occurred' rather than the work relationship in general." Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 7(1), 374 S.E.2d 821 (1988). Because a temporary labor service "is in the very business of temporarily 'loaning' its employees to others[,] [cit......
  • Ghersi v. Salazar
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of Utah
    • 28 Octubre 1994
    ...injury or death.5 See also Santa Cruz Poultry, Inc. v. Superior Court, 194 Cal.App.3d 575, 239 Cal.Rptr. 578 (1987); Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 374 S.E.2d 821 (1988); Fox v. Contract Beverage Packers, Inc., 398 N.E.2d 709 (Ind.Ct.App.1980); Smith v. Kelly Labor Serv., 239 So.2d 685 (......
  • Brown v. StarMed Staffing, L.P.
    • United States
    • United States Court of Appeals (Georgia)
    • 16 Julio 1997
    ...of the test must focus on 'the occasion when the injury occurred' rather than the work relationship in general." Stephens v. Oates, 189 Ga.App. 6, 7(1), 374 S.E.2d 821. We are compelled to apply this narrow standard in the case sub Although StarMed paid Nurse Simmons' wages, provided him wi......
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