A man who used to work as a security guard at a former Sherman-Williams paint factory in Philadelphia has recently filed a lawsuit against the owners of that factory, which has since closed down. The issue in the personal injury suit is that the man claims to have suffered serious injuries while patrolling the property back in 2012.
The accident allegedly occurred while the man was making rounds and fell down a stairway in an area that had been allowed to deteriorate and which was not being regularly inspected for safety. As a result of the fall, he claims to have suffered injury to his body and internal organs. In addition to his own personal injury claims, his wife is seeking compensation for loss of consortium and loss of companionship.
Sources didn’t mention whether the man had received workers’ compensation for the workplace injury. If he was an employee at the time of the accident, he would presumably be entitled to workers’ compensation, but he may have been an independent contractor, which is not uncommon for security guards. In that case, he may not have been entitled to workers’ compensation and would have thus had personal injury litigation available to him in the event of an accident at work.
One thing security guards have to be careful about is that employers sometimes misclassify them as independent contractors when they really should be classified as employees under federal law. When workers are misclassified, it is sometimes a mistake, but it can also be deliberate on the part of the employer in order to avoid extra costs, including workers’ compensation.
Source: The Pennsylvania Record, “Owner of former paint factory sued by security guard over workplace injury,” Jim Boyle, September 3, 2014.