Fragnella v. PetrovichAnnotate this Case
Two personal injury actions and one wrongful death action arising out of an automobile accident were consolidated on appeal before the Supreme Court. In 2007, Paul -Smith's vehicle collided with a semi-tractor trailer driven by Robert Petrovich. Nicole Plouffe and Tiffany Ann Marie Fragnella were both passengers in Smith's vehicle. Plouffe was severely injured and Fragnella died as a result of her injuries. At the time of the accident, Petrovich was driving the semi-truck for Swift Transportation Co., Inc., and was training a Swift Transportation employee in driving skills. The Swift Transportation trainee, Thomas Thayer, was a passenger in the semi-truck at the time of the collision. Thayer was covered under Swift Transportation's workers' compensation insurance. Smith and his passengers' Amended Complaint alleged that Petrovich was negligently driving the semi-truck. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the Petrovich and Swift, finding that there was no evidence that the accident was caused by Petrovich. The district court also concluded that a third party claim for negligence against Petrovich was separately barred by the exclusive remedy rule under Idaho's Workers' Compensation statutes. Smith appealed to the Supreme Court arguing that the district court erred in granting summary judgment, that the court abused its discretion in denying the Motions for Reconsideration, and that the court erred in determining that the exclusive remedy rule barred the third-party claims against Petrovich. Upon review, the Supreme Court affirmed the district court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Petrovich, and found no error in the district court's decision.