Effective representation of the plaintiff in a case of serious injury or wrongful death often requires that counsel overcome an “independent contractor” defense. That frequently involves solving a shell game of independent contractor business relationships used to evade financial responsibility. Sometimes lawyers refer to this as getting “beyond the monkey to the organ grinder.”
The general rule is that a defendant is not liable for the negligence of an independent contractor, but there are many exceptions. While not comprehensive, this paper seeks to outline major theories for overcoming the independent contractor defense.
- Interstate Motor Carriers.
Prior to 1956, interstate motor