Peter L. MacIsaac and Reka Bala successfully appealed an adverse decision in a personal injury action on behalf of a client who suffered serious spinal injuries requiring surgeries as a result of a slip-and-fall on ice.  The incident occurred on plaintiff’s way to work in the parking lot owned by the defendant, RAD Data Communications, Inc.  Plaintiff was employed by Radbit Computers, Inc., a separate company that leased space in the building from RAD Data but also shared some common ownership with RAD Data.  In granting summary judgment to RAD Data, the trial court held that RAD Data was a dual or special "joint employer" of plaintiff and therefore plaintiff’s claim against RAD Data was barred by the immunity provision of N.J.S.A. 34:15-8.  The Appellate Division summarily reversed and found that workers’ compensation immunity, which insulates a professional corporation from tort liability to its employee does not shield other related but separate corporations or their shareholders from the employee’s negligence action for the same injuries.  The plaintiff was employed exclusively by Radbit, which was a separate entity from RAD Data.  Therefore, despite the corporate affiliation, RAD Data was not entitled to the tort immunity under N.J.S.A. 34:15-8.

Chasan Lamparello
Mallon & Cappuzzo, PC

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