$1,000,000: Plaintiff sustained serious injuries while performing roof repairs

CASE DESCRIPTION: Plaintiff Darwin B sustained injuries while performing roof repairs on the personal residence of the owner/president of his employer, Doe Roofing, Inc.  Plaintiff’s counsel contended that Darwin B was performing these repairs at the behest of, and under the direction of, his employer Doe Roofing, though its controlling principle. While working on these premises, Plaintiff Darwin B, lost his footing and fell to the ground from a second story roof, sustaining serious injuries.  No safety measures (such as harnesses) were being used at the time.

RESULT: $1,000,000.00

Defendants contended that plaintiff was acting as an employee, but was not eligible for worker’s compensation coverage as an officer/shareholder.  Therefore, Plaintiff could not bring an action in either the worker’s compensation courts or the civil courts.  Defendants further contended that incident was entirely fault of Plaintiff, who neglected to use safety equipment.

Plaintiff contended that his status as an “owner/shareholder” was a sham, and that he was entitled to bring an action against his employer as a wrongfully uninsured employee.  Plaintiff further contended that the owner/president of his employer was personally liable as a homeowner retaining control and direction of the job.  Plaintiff also filed a claim for worker’s compensation benefits, which was being litigated after Defendants denied any liability.

TYPE OF CASE: Workplace Accident


Darwin B – Right femur fracture with interior rodding; bilateral frozen shoulder requiring surgery; bilateral stiffness and pain in hands; compression deformity of L1; L1-2 and L3-4 protrusion.

Pamela B – Loss of Consortium

DATE & LOCATION OF INCIDENT: November 15, 1999, San Clemente, California.

Darren O. Aitken, Esq.
For Plaintiffs – Darwin and Pamela B

Patrick J. Gibbs, Esq.
Kristen C. Vine, Esq.
For Defendants B Doe Roofing.; Doe Owner