United States District Court, D. Minnesota
William L. Walker, Walker Law Offices, P.A., 1300 Lagoon Avenue South, Suite 240, Minneapolis, MN 55508, for Plaintiff.
Lee A. Miller, Stephen M. Warner, and Adina R. Florea, Arthur, Chapman, Kettering, Smetak & Pikala, P.A., 500 Young Quinlan Building, 81 South Ninth Street, Minneapolis, MN 55402, for Defendant.
MEMORANDUM OPINION AND ORDER
SUSAN RICHARD NELSON, District Judge.
This matter is before the Court on Defendant Northern M Fab., Inc.'s Motion for Summary Judgment [Doc. No. 12]. For the reasons stated below, the Court grants Defendant's Motion.
A. The Parties and the Employment Relationship
Defendant Northern M Fab., Inc. ("NMF") and Aerotek Temp Services/Allegis Group ("Aerotek") are parties to a written agreement pursuant to which Aerotek "agrees to provide Contract Employee personnel at [NMF's] request" and "under [NMF's] management and supervision." (Warner Aff. [Doc. No. 15], Ex. 1 (Services Agreement) at 1.) Under the contract, Aerotek also agrees to provide "wages or other employment related benefits to its Contract Employees"; to "make all appropriate tax, social security, Medicare and other withholding deductions and payments"; to "provide worker's compensation insurance coverage for it's [sic] Contract Employees"; and to "make all appropriate unemployment tax payments." (Id.) NMF has the "responsibility to control, manage and supervise the work of AEROTEK Contract Employees assigned to [NMF]." (Id.)
Plaintiff Antwan Dukes, a Minnesota resident, was employed by Aerotek to perform temporary services for NMF at its Baldwin, Wisconsin facility. (Pl.'s Mem. of Law in Opp. to Summ. J. [Doc. No. 18] ("Pl.'s Opp.") at 1.) He began his position as "Welder B" on approximately January 30, 2012. (See Warner Aff., Ex. 2 (Application for Employment) at 4.) Plaintiff understood that his assignment at NMF was a "temp-to-hire" position. (Id., Ex. 7 (Dukes Dep.) 55:12-15.)
B. Plaintiff's Injury
On or about March 24, 2012, Plaintiff's supervisor instructed another NMF employee, Eric Cooper, to show Plaintiff how to operate a drill in order to complete work on a grind car being built at NMF's facility. (See id., Ex. 6 (Incident Report) at 2.) Mr. Cooper instructed Plaintiff how to operate the drill to drive holes into the plate of the grind car, as well as how to use the drill power buttons. (Id. at 2.) Plaintiff agrees that he was "open and receptive" to using the drill and that he understood how to use the drill. (See Supplemental Warner Aff. [Doc. No. 26], Ex. 9 (Dukes Dep.) 90:11-91:24.) He also admits that he was assigned the drilling task by NMF, followed NMF's instructions in completing the drilling task, and worked under NMF's supervision. (See Warner Aff., Ex. 5 (Pl.'s Responses to Def.'s Requests for Admissions) at 2-3.)
Shortly after Plaintiff began drilling, the drill bogged down and the drill bit broke, striking Plaintiff in the face. (See id., Ex. 6 (Incident Report) at 1-3.) Plaintiff was transported to the emergency room. (See id.) After his injury, Plaintiff received worker's compensation benefits from Aerotek. (Id., Ex. 5 (Pl.'s Responses to Def.'s Requests for Admissions) at 3.)
C. This Lawsuit
Plaintiff filed this negligence action against NMF "to recover for personal injuries sustained by Plaintiff as a result of an unreasonably dangerous condition on [NMF's] property...; specifically on March 24, 2012, Plaintiff was injured by a drill which broke while Plaintiff was using it." (Compl. ¶ 3.) Plaintiff claims that NMF "knew or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known of the unreasonably dangerous condition of the drill and neither corrected nor warned the Plaintiff of it." (Id. ¶ 4.) Plaintiff also alleges that he "was ordered to use the drill by [NMF's] agent, employee, or contractor;" that NMF "negligently hired, retained, trained, and supervised its agents, employees, and contractors"; and that "[s]uch negligence was the direct and proximate cause of Plaintiff's subsequent injuries." (Id. ¶ 5.) Plaintiff asserts that he has suffered "severe and permanent personal injuries" and that, because of these injuries, he ...