The Tennessee Bar Association published my column, Day on Torts, on September 1, 2011. The title of this column is "Who Should Get Burned by Bruce's Torch?".
Independent contractors are not considered employees. The general rule is that one who employs an independent contractor is not liable for the negligence of the contractor. This rule “is so riddled with exceptions that it is only applied when the courts cannot find a good reason to ignore it,” and a case on the court’s Sept. 1 oral argument docket provides another opportunity for common sense and sound public policy to trump the general rule. [Footnote omitted.]