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McDonald v. Ponderosa Enterprises, Inc.

McDonald v. Ponderosa Enterprises, Inc., 2015 MT 160 (June 16, 2015) (Wheat, J.; McKinnon, J., concurring & dissenting) (5-0, aff’d)

Issue: (1) Whether the district court erred in holding the Montana Occupational Health and Safety Act did not create duty of safety running from an employer to an independent contractor; (2) whether the district court erred in prohibiting testimony related to “rules” on a construction site; and (3) whether RTK is entitled to costs and fees for being improperly joined as an appellee by Ponderosa.

Short Answer: (1) No; (2) no; and (3) no.


Facts: Ponderosa is a framing company, and Matt Orrell is its principal. Cody McDonald is a construction worker doing business as Head First Construction. McDonald was approved as an independent contractor by the Department of Labor in April 2008.…