U.S. Court of Appeals Reverses Dismissed Lawsuit Based on Serious Injuries Caused by Company Related to Employer

Perry Odom was seriously injured when a semi-trailer collapsed on him at his job.

His employer was Penske Logistics. However, this employer did not own the trailer; his employer’s sole shareholder, Penske Truck Leasing, was the owner.

Odom and his wife brought a lawsuit against Penske Truck Leasing through a personal injury action filed in the U.S. Federal District Court. The district court judge dismissed the Odoms’ complaint, reasoning that under state law, the Workers’ Compensation Act applied to shield the employer’s stockholders from employee claims arising out of a workplace injury.

Having received the dismissal of their case, the Odoms appealed to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. They challenged the district court’s interpretation of Oklahoma law.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals certified the interpretive question to the Oklahoma Supreme Court and received an answer making it clear that the district applied an incorrect legal standard in dismissing this lawsuit.

Having reached that conclusion, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed and remanded the case back to the district court for further proceedings.

Odom v. Penske Truck Leasing Co., No. 17-6065 (U.S. Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit, June 19, 2018).

Kreisman Law Offices has been handling workplace injuries, catastrophic injury lawsuits, truck accident cases, bicycle accident lawsuits and motorcycle injury lawsuits for individuals, families and loved ones who have been injured, harmed or killed by the negligence of another for more than 40 years, in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Winthrop Harbor, Maywood, Bridgeview, Elmhurst, Elk Grove Village, Oak Lawn, Oak Park, Park Forest, Park Ridge, Forest Park, Willowbrook, Glenview, Northfield, Northbrook, Glencoe, Chicago (Andersonville, Beverly, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, East Garfield Park, Humboldt Park, Pilsen, South Loop, Streeterville, Bucktown, West Loop, Pullman, West Pullman, Roscoe Village, North Park, Pill Hill, Printer’s Row, Ravenswood, Wrigleyville), Calumet City, South Holland, Blue Island, Gurnee, Grayslake and Arlington Heights, Ill.

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