Southerland v. B. V. Hedrick Gravel & Sand Co., 123 NC App 120 (95-581) 07/02/1996

NO. COA95-581

NORTH CAROLINA COURT OF APPEALS

Filed: 2 July 1996

ROGER FRED SOUTHERLAND,

        Employee,

        Plaintiff;

v.

B. V. HEDRICK GRAVEL & SAND COMPANY,

        Employer,

and

AETNA CASUALTY & SURETY COMPANY,

        Defendants.

    Appeal by defendants from opinion and award entered 8 February 1995 by the Full Commission. Heard in the Court of Appeals 26 February 1996.

    Plaintiff, Fred Southerland, d/b/a Southerland Construction Company was injured on 12 December 1990 when he fell approximately 33 feet from a masonry wall to a concrete floor below, while at a construction project in Asheville, North Carolina. He sustained injuries to his left foot, left leg, pelvis, teeth, left ear, left wrist, left arm, and left shoulder, and was out of work from 12 December 1990 through 18 March 1991. At the time of his injury, Fred Southerland was an independent subcontractor of Buncombe Construction Company, Inc., and was engaged in the performance of work arising from the subcontract. Buncombe Construction Company, Inc., a subsidiary of defendant B. V. Hedrick Gravel and Sand Company, was the general contractor on the project. Plaintiff subcontracted with Buncombe Construction Company Inc. to perform the complete installation of a standing seam roof system with miscellaneous trims and accessories, including all equipment and labor on the project. Prior to the time of subcontracting the performance of the roofing work, plaintiff advised Buncombe that he maintained workers' compensation insurance coverage, but he did not provide Buncombe with a certificate of insurance, nor did they obtain a certificate from any other source. Plaintiff sublet work on the project to Service Construction Company, and requested and obtained a certificate of workers' compensation insurance from his subcontractor. Deputy Commissioner Tamara R. Nance concluded that because defendants failed to obtain a certificate of insurance from plaintiff that defendants were liable for all compensation and benefits due to plaintiff under the Workers' Compensation Act. Defendants appealed to the Full Commission and the Full Commission affirmed the holding of the Deputy Commissioner. Defendants appeal.