Supreme Court Extends Comp Bar to Subcontractors. Also, New Netflix Movie Pick of the Month

News & Updates
Martin & Martin Law wants to keep you updated on the latest changes that could affect your business and family.  Here are helpful articles on workers comp, estate planning, rising impact fees for developments, a lawsuit on OSHA Rules, and of course our Netflix pix.  
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Workers' Comp Bar Extends to
Subcontractors Employees on Wrap Projects

The Texas Supreme Court case TIC v. Martin just last month approved the extension of HCBeck v. Rice.  HCBeck v. Rice (which our firm handled from the trial court to the Texas Supreme Court) held that when a General Contractor or Owner "provides" worker's compensation to subcontractors under OCIP and CCIP or "wrap" policies, the subcontractor's employees cannot sue the General Contractor for injuries covered by worker's compensation provided by the wrap policy. The Owner and General Contractor step into the shoes of "employer" of the injured subcontractor employee for the benefit of the worker's compensation bar.  

Now, claims by one subcontractor employee against another subcontractor are prevented as well, provided the proper wrap policy language is in place covering both subcontractors. Employees of different subcontractors are effectively treated as co-employees.  Together, these two cases make clear that all covered project employee claims for personal injuries against all wrap employers and employees are barred.  The court's rationale would seem to extend to any party covered by the wrap. TIC v. Martin answers this question which has been undecided since HCBeck v. Rice.   The Martin case will further reduce lawsuits on wrap projects and likely make wrap policies more attractive to owners and GC's. 

Are Your Estate Plan Documents Current?

Do you or your loved ones have estate plan documents over five years old? 
 
It is important to revisit your estate plan, especially if you, or your parents, are relying on documents executed many years ago, not just your will, but also your designations of persons to help during your lifetime.  
 
The Durable Power of Attorney in case of incapacity appoints someone to take over your finances if you become unable to handle them. The updated statutory form is recommended and accepted more readily by financial institutions.
 
The Medical Power Attorney, required by doctors when you are unable to consent to medical treatment in case of an emergency should also be updated in accordance with statute and provided to primary care physicians.  
 
Probate procedures for your executor can be streamlined for a will.  For example, the will needs to be self-proving to avoid tracking down witnesses years later, needs to appoint an Independent Executor, and an independent executor can now avoid by affidavit submitting an Inventory and Appraisement to the court.
 
Take time to check that your estate documents, and have your parents check theirs, to see that they are updated and ready to be used if needed.  It will set your mind, and theirs, at ease to know that things are properly in order.

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Netflix Pix

If you would like to go behind the scenes of college football, a new six-party documentary came to Netflix recently entitled "Last Chance U."  The series follows the three-time national champion 2015 East Mississippi Community College Lions players, coaches, and academic advisor throughout a tumultuous season.  Full disclosure:  The series was co-edited by Emmy nominated Jody McViegh Shultz, an avid football fan and USC college friend of Nick Martin.  
Beware of Rising Impact Fees

An impact fee is a fee that is imposed by a local government within the United States on a new or proposed development project to pay for all or a portion of the costs of providing public services to the new development  Read More

Lawsuit Regarding OSHA Rule Limiting 
Drug - Alcohol Testing

ABC, TEXO and a coalition of stakeholders filed suit  against the anti-retaliation provisions of OSHA's final rule on Tracking of Workplace Injuries and Illnesses on July 8. Read More
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