At 10:00, the Mississippi Supreme Court will hear Quindon Thomas and Latara Thomas v Chevron USA and Dwayne Haisch. The issue involves the exclusivity provisions of the workers comp. statutes.
Quindon Thomas was employed by Bragg Investment Co. d/b/a American Plant Services which had been hired by Chevron to handle the maintenance and operation of certain permanently installed equipment and piping systems owned by Chevron. Thomas was working at the Chevron Refinery in Pascagoula, Mississippi, as a switch deck operator when Chevron employee Dwayne Haisch manipulated a switch which caused a valve to open and release steam. Thomas was burned all over.
Thomas filed suit against Chevron and Haisch. The trial court granted summary judgment to Chevron and Haisch on the grounds that Thomas’ exclusive remedy was via workers comp. Thomas argues that because Chevron was the premises owner and there was no contractor/subcontractor relationship, the workers comp. exclusivity provisions do not apply. Chevron argues that it acts as its own general contractor when hiring subcontractors at its refinery and provides workers’ compensation benefits for its subcontractors’ employees.
The Mississippi Association for Justice and the Mississippi Economic Council have filed amicus briefs.
Watch the argument here.