Summary judgment for national bus company.
We obtained summary judgment dismissing all claims against our clients in a motor vehicle matter in the Supreme Court, Suffolk County. The plaintiff brought a claim against our clients, a national bus company, our insured driver, and the local School District for negligence related to a motor vehicle accident that occurred when the plaintiff was working as a bus monitor for the bus company. The school district had contracted with the bus company for transportation services. In our motion, we argued that the bus company, as the plaintiff's employer, was protected by the exclusive remedy provision of the workers' compensation law; that our driver was protected as a "co-employee"; and the school district could not be negligent for the actions of its independent contractor. The plaintiff sought to argue that she was an employee of the bus company’s parent company and was not precluded by the workers' compensation law. The court rejected these arguments and confirmed that the plaintiff, as an employee of the bus company who received workers' compensation benefits, could not sustain negligence claims against her employer and dismissed all claims against our clients. The court further reconfirmed a prior appellate ruling speaking to the corporate structure of the bus company, which could protect the company from further suits seeking to disregard the workers' compensation law.