David White Crane Serv. v. HowellAnnotate this Case
An employee of the general contractor on a construction site was allegedly injured by the negligent act of the employee of a subcontractor who carried no workers' compensation insurance. Plaintiff, the injured party, brought a common-law action against Defendants, the uninsured subcontractor and its employee, the alleged tortfeasor. The Defendants filed a plea in bar, asserting that the Virginia Workers' Compensation Act was Plaintiff's sole remedy. The circuit court held that Defendants' failure to carry workers' compensation insurance deprived them of the protections afforded by the Act because they were not participants in the statutory workers' compensation system. The court denied the plea in bar, permitting the action to go forward, but certified the case for an interlocutory appeal. The Supreme Court reversed the judgment appealed from and entered final judgment dismissing the case, holding that the circuit court erred in denying Defendants' plea in bar because Defendants were entitled to the exclusivity protection provided by the Act notwithstanding their lack of workers' compensation insurance.