Question

Hercules, Inc. is a large chemical corporation. Its operations in Brunswick, Georgia, extracts resins from tree stumps, processes the resins into chemical compounds, and sells them to manufacturers. Hercules purchases tree stumps from various parties, including D. Hays Trucking, Inc. (Hays). Hays owns its own equipment and delivery vehicles, hires its own truckers and other employees, pays for its employees’ workers’ compensation coverage, and withholds federal and state taxes from employees’ paychecks. Hays directed the work of its employees who pulled the stumps from the ground and the truckers who delivered the stumps to Hercules.
One night, Mr. Hays was driving a trailer tracker owned by D. Hays Trucking, Inc. loaded with 80,000 pounds of pine stumps from Alabama to the Hercules plant in Georgia. Just prior to midnight, when he was 10 miles from the Hercules plant, Mr. Hays crashed the tractor trailer into a car driven by Phyllis Lewis, killing her. Mr. Hays was driving the tractor trailer approximately 10 to 15 miles per hour over the 65 mileper hour speed limit, and there were no skid marks from the tractor trailer prior to the collision. Preston Lewis, the executor of the estate of Phyllis Lewis, brought suit in U. S. district court against Mr. Hays; D. Hays Trucking, Inc.; and Hercules, Inc., to recover damages for negligence. Hercules made a motion for summary judgment, alleging that D. Hays Trucking, Inc.; was an independent contractor and therefore Hercules could not be held liable for its negligence. Is D. Hays Trucking, Inc.; an independent contractor or an employee of Hercules? Did Lewis act ethically in suing Hercules, Inc.? Lewis v. D. Hays Trucking, Inc., 701 F. Supp. 2d 1300, 2010 U. S. Dist. Lexis 28035 (United States District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, 2010)


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  • CreatedAugust 12, 2015
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