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Harman v. Manheim Remarketing, Inc.

Court of Appeals of Missouri, Southern District, Second Division

May 26, 2015

STEVE HARMAN, Plaintiff-Appellant,
v.
MANHEIM REMARKETING, INC., Defendant-Respondent

APPEAL FROM THE CIRCUIT COURT OF GREENE COUNTY. Honorable Jason Brown, Associate Circuit Judge.

For Appellant: Thomas G. Morrissey, THE MORRISSEY LAW FIRM, P.C., Springfield, Missouri.

For Respondent: Lee M. Baty, Karen L. Lloyd, of BATY, HOLM, NUMRICH & OTTO, P.C., Kansas City, Missouri.

GARY W. LYNCH, J. - Opinion author. NANCY STEFFEN RAHMEYER, J. - concurs, DON E. BURRELL, J. - concurs.

OPINION

GARY W. LYNCH, J.

Page 877

Steve Harman appeals the trial court's grant of summary judgment in favor of Manheim Remarketing, Inc. (" Manheim" ), holding that Harman's civil action against Manheim for his injuries from a fall on Manheim's premises was barred by The Workers' Compensation Law, see sections 287.010-.811. Harman claims that Manheim was not entitled to summary judgment because section 287.280.1,[1] gives him the right to bring a civil action against Manheim if Manheim failed to insure its full workers' compensation liability, as required

Page 878

by that section, and there are no uncontroverted facts in the summary judgment record supporting that Manheim was so insured. We agree, reverse the trial court's judgment, and remand the case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Factual and Procedural Background

Harman filed a personal injury action in the trial court claiming negligence in connection with injuries he sustained as a result of his slip and fall on black ice on Manheim's premises on February 1, 2010, naming Manheim and one of Manheim's employees as defendants.[2] Manheim answered and asserted various affirmative defenses, including

that pursuant to [section 287.040.1[3]], Manheim is deemed to be the employer of [Harman] and the Missouri Workers' Compensation Act applies to each and every claim asserted against Manheim in [Harman's] Second Amended Petition. As such, the Missouri Workers' Compensation Act provides the exclusive remedy for [Harman's] claims against Manheim.

Thereafter, Manheim filed a motion for summary judgment asserting as its legal basis that Harman's " negligence claim against Manheim fails as a matter of law as Manheim is the statutory employer[4] of [Harman] . . . [t]herefore, [Harman's] exclusive remedy against Manheim is through the Missouri Workers' Compensation Act." In support of its motion, Manheim alleged seven statements of uncontroverted facts related to it that were all later admitted by Harman. These uncontroverted facts are:

1. At all relevant times, [Harman] was employed by Securitas Security Services USA (" Securitas" ) as a security guard at Manheim.
2. Securitas and Manheim entered into a contract for Securitas to provide security guards to protect Manheim's premises 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
3. [Harman] provided the security services to Manheim pursuant to the contract between Manheim and Securitas.
4. [Harman's] alleged injuries occurred on Manheim's premises.
5. At the time of [Harman's] alleged fall, he had already begun his shift as a security guard and had just completed rounds of picking up paperwork from Manheim's various auction lots.
6. [Harman] submitted a worker's compensation claim for his alleged subject injuries.

Page 879

7. Prior to contracting with Securitas to provide security services, Manheim hired its own security guards to provide the services that Securitas' security guards ...

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