Question: Milburn Pierce was the sole proprietor of the Pierce Painting
Milburn Pierce was the sole proprietor of the Pierce Painting Company, a painting contracting company with two employees in addition to Pierce. Pierce bought workers' compensation insurance for his business through the Louisiana Workers' Compensation Corporation, but in the written agreement he chose to exclude himself from the policy's coverage. In August 2002, Pierce was working on a job for Tom Fullilove Construction Company when he fell off a roof. Pierce broke his left wrist and left femur and incur red more than $30,000 in medical bills for his treatment and therapy. Pierce filed a compensation claim in September 2002, and Fullilove paid his medical bills. In October 2002, Fullilove sued Pierce for reimbursement of the compensation payments. The Office of Workers' Compensation found for Fullilove. Pierce appealed, arguing that a Louisiana statute provided that a "sole proprietor with respect to such sole proprietorship may by written agreement elect not to be covered" under workers' compensation insurance. Thus, Pierce argued, he had elected not to be covered with respect to his sole proprietorship, a separate legal entity. But with respect to Tom Fullilove Construction Company, Pierce argued that he never elected not to be covered. How do you think the appellate court ruled? Why?
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