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ARMOND COLE DUME v. ELKCOM COMPANY (11/23/87)

filed: November 23, 1987.

ARMOND COLE DUME, APPELLANT,
v.
ELKCOM COMPANY, INC., A CORPORATION, ADAMS STEEL ERECTION COMPANY, INC., A CORPORATION, BURT HILL KOSAR RITTLEMAN ASSOCIATES AND MOSITES CONSTRUCTION COMPANY, INC., A CORPORATION V. MULACH STEEL CORPORATION



Appeal from the Judgment Entered February 27, 1987 in the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County, Civil, No. G.D. 84-14356.

COUNSEL

Francis C. Rapp, Jr., Pittsburgh, for appellant.

Louis C. Long, Pittsburgh, for Mosites, appellee.

Cirillo, President Judge, and Johnson and Montgomery, JJ.

Author: Cirillo

[ 368 Pa. Super. Page 281]

This is an appeal from a summary judgment entered by the Court of Common Pleas of Allegheny County against appellant Armond Dume. We affirm.

On August 17, 1982, the appellant, Armond Dume, sustained personal injuries in a fall while working on the construction of the Comstock Building in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. At the time of the mishap, Dume was engaged in moving metal decking for the building's floor support at the request of his employer, Adams Steel Erection Company (Adams). Adams had been retained by the general contractor at the project, Mosites Construction Company (Mosites), to perform various tasks necessary for the completion of the building. Several other subcontractors, which were also named defendants in the instant action, participated in the raising of the structure.

[ 368 Pa. Super. Page 282]

Adams, as appellant's employer, possessed three separate contractual obligations in its role as subcontractor for Mosites. First, Adams was responsible for the erection of stairwells in the building and all details incident to their completion. Second, Adams was under an obligation to assure that all structural steel was properly supplied and installed. In so doing, Adams subcontracted with Mulach Steel Corporation to provide the structural steel. Last, Adams was required to oversee the installation of the metal decking for the building's floor support. For this aspect of the construction, Adams subcontracted with the H.H. Robertson Company.

Although the facts indicate that appellant was moving metal decking when the accident occurred, it is unclear which subcontract was being performed by Adams when Dume fell. It is, however, undisputed that Dume was performing duties under one of the previously mentioned subcontracts.

Appellant commenced this action on May 1, 1985, seeking damages for injuries that were allegedly caused by Mosites' negligent failure to provide him with a reasonably safe place in which to work. Adams, a named defendant in the suit, was immediately dismissed from the action because of its status as appellant's employer. Likewise, Mosites maintained that it was the "statutory employer" of appellant, thus entitling it to immunity from tort liability under the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act, 77 P.S. ยง 52. Mosites then sought dismissal from the suit by filing a motion for summary judgment. The motion was briefed by the parties and argued before the trial court. Upon a review of the facts and applicable law, Judge Standish entered an order, accompanied by a memorandum, granting Mosites' motion for summary judgment. Appellant appeals from the trial court's adverse judgment and order.

Appellant advances the following issue for our review: whether summary judgment was properly entered in favor of appellee, Mosites Construction Company, on the basis that it was the "statutory employer" of appellant pursuant

[ 368 Pa. Super. Page 283]

    to the Pennsylvania Workmen's Compensation Act and consequently immune from common law liability for negligence.

Appellant contends that the trial court erred as a matter of law by granting summary judgment in favor of Mosites. Pennsylvania Rule of Civil Procedure 1035(b) provides, in ...


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