Property Owner Found Liable for Injuries to Worker of Unlicensed Contractor, Again

Construction worker smirking while working with wooden beam

Sorenson is a stark reminder that when asking your gardener or anyone to perform work requiring a license to make sure they are in fact properly licensed.

September 17, 2018
Garret Murai - California Construction Law Blog

It’s not like we didn’t warn you.

In Jones v. Sorenson, Case No. C084870 (August 2, 2018), homeowner Danita Sorenson discovered to her chagrin that she had unwittingly become the employer of Mary Jones, who had been hired by Odette Miranda doing business as Designs by Leo to trim some trees, and was liable for Jones’ injuries when Jones fell off a ladder provided by Miranda. “How can this be?” you might ask. The reason, as it turns out, is simple.

Miranda was required to hold a Class D-49 Tree Service Contractor’s license in order to contract with Sorenson to trim her trees, and because Miranda did not hold that license (or, for that matter, any contractor’s license), Sorenson automatically was deemed the employer of Jones under Labor Code Section 2750.5 and, therefore, liable for her injuries.

Mr. Murai may be contacted at gmurai@wendel.com



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