Question: Ward Manufacturing Inc decided to construct a casting facility on
Ward Manufacturing, Inc., decided to construct a casting facility on its property located in Blossburg, Pennsylvania. Ward entered into a written contract with Welliver-McGuire, Inc. Under the terms of the contract, Welliver agreed to indemnify Ward for any and all claims for bodily injury and property damage arising out of the performance of the work identified in the contract. Welliver assumed control, possession, and responsibility over the construction site throughout the project. Ward did, however, maintain an on-site representative to act as liaison and monitor the status of the project. Ward also had a safety representative on-site periodically to inspect the work site. Jonathon Olin worked as a carpenter for Welliver. Olin, while engaged in surveying activities on the Ward construction site, fell into an unbarricaded excavation pit allegedly covered with water and mud. As a result of the fall, Olin purportedly suffered severe injuries. Since the date of the accident, Olin has received total disability workers' compensation benefits from Welliver. Olin brought suit against Ward for negligence. Ward argued that Olin, through Welliver, was an independent contractor and that Ward therefore was not liable to Olin for damages. Furthermore, Ward argued that Welliver, and not Ward, was in charge of the site. Ward then moved for summary judgment. Was Ward successful in its motion for summary judgment? Why?
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