Before: ROBINSON, Chief Judge, WRIGHT, Circuit Judge and MACKINNON, Senior Circuit Judge.
ASSOCIATES PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, D.C., ET AL.; JOHN
ASSOCIATES PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, D.C., ET AL.; STANLEY
WILMES, APPELLANT v. BECHTEL ASSOCIATES PROFESSIONAL
CORPORATION, D.C., ET AL.; CALVIN WALKER, ET AL., APPELLANTS v. WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT
AUTHORITY; JOHN WARREN CLANAGAN, APPELLANT v. BECHTEL
ASSOCIATES PROFESSIONAL CORPORATION, D.C., ET AL.; HOWARD
L. EIGHMEY, ET AL., APPELLANTS v. WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN
AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY, ET AL.; GLENWOOD WILLIAMS, APPELLANT, v. WASHINGTON METROPOLITAN AREA TRANSIT AUTHORITY
Nos. 82-2017, 82-1784, 82-1809, 82-1813, 82-1899, 82-2062, 82-2063, 82-2148, 82-2374, 82-2458, 82-2459, 82-2525, 82-2529, 82-2530, 82-2531, 83-1003
Reversed and Remanded June 26, 1984
Appeals from the United States District Court for the District of Columbia
DECISION OF THE COURT DELIVERED BY THE HONORABLE JUDGE MACKINNON
Opinion for the Court filed by Senior Circuit Judge MACKINNON.
MACKINNON, Senior Circuit Judge: These consolidated appeals *fn1 arise from negligence actions instituted by employees of contractors who performed underground work on the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit subway project (Metro). With the exception of Eighmey who was injured in a construction accident, the appellants allegedly sustained respiratory injuries as a result of exposure to high levels of silica dust and other industrial pollutants in the subway project. The injured employees all filed workmen's compensation claims and received compensation awards. The employees then instituted third-party negligence actions against either the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA or the Authority) *fn2 or Bechtel, *fn3 the safety engineer for the project.
Because of the nature of the contractual relationship between the parties, WMATA or Bechtel appeared to be a proper third-party defendant. WMATA exercises the ultimate control of and authority for the construction nd operation of the subway system. WMATA contracted with Bechtel to provide safety engineering services. Contracts for the actual construction work were awarded to a variety of subcontractors. Appellants were employees of these subcontractors.
In the district court each defendant, WMATA or Bechtel, moved for and was granted summary judgment. Appellants contest these judgments and present four issues for our resolution. We discuss each issue separately and conclude:
(1) Bechtel was an agent of WMATA and therefore, under section 80 of the Compact, WMATA is exclusively liable for Bechtel's torts. Accordingly we affirm the grant of summary judgment to Bechtel on this issue.
(2) WMATA is not entitled to the immunity accorded to employers under section 90-5(a) of the Longshoremen's Act. Accordingly we reverse the grant of summary judgment to WMATA on this issue.
(3) A more complete factual record is necessary to determine whether, under FED. R. CIV. P. 15(c), WMATA was properly added as a defendant. Accordingly we remand these cases.
(4) Under section 33(b) of the Longshoremen's Act an injured employee cannot institute a third-party negligence action after the expiration of the six-month period following acceptance of a compensation award. Accordingly we affirm the ...