Sep 02, 2009
Court of Appeal holds that homeowners who employed an unlicensed contractor to remodel their house are not subject to OSHA

Cortez v. Abich (2009) 177 Cal.App.4th 261 (California Court of Appeal, Second Appellate District, Division Four). GMSR’s client homeowners hired an unlicensed contractor to assist in a home remodeling project. A worker injured during the project sued the homeowners, asserting that they were liable for OSHA violations leading to his injury. Affirming summary judgment in favor of GMSR’s clients, the Court of Appeal held that although hiring an unlicensed contractor meant that the homeowners were statutory employers of the injured worker, they owed no obligation to comply with OSHA when remodeling their own home. The court also held that the homeowners had no duty to warn the worker of the danger of climbing onto a half-demolished roof because the danger of falling through was open and obvious.