Attorney Jeffrey McCormick has recently successfully defended a landlord in a Superior Court jury trial. The Complaint had been brought by a tenant, who had been badly injured when a 30 foot extension ladder he and another tenant were using to cut down large tree limbs with a chain saw collapsed. The plaintiff suffered a broken pelvis, broken ribs, and required left knee surgery. Medical bills were over $30,000. The plaintiff alleged that he was the defendant’s employee at the time of his accident, and that he was doing the tree work with the defendant’s knowledge and at his request. The defendant/landlord denied this. The plaintiff had been receiving a rent reduction in return for doing various kinds of maintenance at the defendant’s properties. The plaintiff claimed that because he was an employee, and because the defendant had no worker’s compensation insurance, defendant was strictly liable for the plaintiff’s injuries under the Massachusetts Workers Compensation Act. The jury returned a verdict for the defendant after deliberation, finding that while the plaintiff was the defendant’s employee at the time of the incident, he was a “casual employee” under the relevant statue, for which the defendant was not required to have workers compensation insurance.