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Staron v. Workers' Comp. Appeal Bd.

Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania

July 17, 2015

Scott Lee Staron, d/b/a Lee's Metal Roof Coatings & Painting, Petitioner
v.
Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (Farrier), Respondent

Argued June 15, 2015

Appealed from No. A13-1416. State Agency: Workers' Compensation Appeal Board.

Larry W. Miller, Jr., West Lawn, for petitioner.

BEFORE: HONORABLE BONNIE BRIGANCE LEADBETTER, Judge, HONORABLE RENÉ E COHN JUBELIRER, Judge, HONORABLE ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, Senior Judge.

OPINION

Page 565

ROCHELLE S. FRIEDMAN, SENIOR JUDGE

Scott Lee Staron, d/b/a Lee's Metal Roof Coatings & Painting (Employer) petitions for review of the November 6, 2014, order of the Workers' Compensation Appeal Board (WCAB) that affirmed the October 21, 2013, decision of the workers' compensation judge (WCJ) granting Thomas Farrier's (Claimant) claim petition. We affirm.

On October 5, 2011, Claimant filed a claim petition alleging that he sustained a work-related injury while working as a painter for Employer. Employer filed an answer denying an employment relationship.

At a hearing before the WCJ, Employer testified that Claimant first called Employer in response to Employer's advertisement seeking a painter. Claimant told Employer that he had 20 years of experience in painting and roof work, that he had worked for different contractors and had done " a lot of sub work," that he was self-employed and usually did his own work, and that he owned his own truck, tools, and some equipment. Employer and Claimant met and further discussed Claimant's work experience and the terms under which Employer would hire Claimant. They agreed that Employer would pay Claimant $100 per day.[1] Employer also told Claimant that Claimant would need to sign a document in order to work for Employer. (WCJ's Findings of Fact, Nos. 12-13.)

Employer further testified that Claimant started working for Employer on May 3, 2011. Claimant used his own brushes, caulk gun, painter pants, and knee pads, but Employer provided Claimant with ladders and all other necessary equipment. From May 3, 2011, through May 6, 2011, Claimant and Employer met at Employer's home and travelled to the job site together. After instructing Claimant on the first day to clean and paint the front part of the roof, Employer did not give Claimant any additional work directions. Employer further

Page 566

testified that he forgot to have Claimant sign the independent/sub-contractor agreement (Agreement)[2] at their initial meeting, but that Claimant signed and dated the Agreement when they met after Claimant's injury and release from the hospital. Employer presented the Agreement, which bears only Claimant's signature and is dated May 6, 2011. ( Id., Nos. 14-15, 18.)

Claimant testified that on May 6, 2011, while at the job site, he slipped and fell off of the roof, striking his head on the sidewalk. Claimant was taken by ambulance from the job site to the hospital. Claimant was discharged from the hospital later that day after receiving stitches in his head. ( Id., No. 4.)

Claimant further testified that after he left the hospital, he called Employer and made arrangements to pick up his car and tools and to receive payment for his work. Claimant's mother drove Claimant from the hospital to Employer's home, where Employer paid him $300 for his three days of work. Claimant testified that he " might have" signed the Agreement, ...


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