Couch v. United States

Couch was employed as a truck driver by B&B, a private company that has Highway Contract Route contracts with the Postal Service. While Couch was making a delivery to a postal facility in Illinois, a U.S. Postal Service employee ran over his foot with a forklift. Two years later, Couch died, allegedly as a result of complications from the injury. After her husband died, plaintiff sued the United States under the Federal Tort Claims Act, which provides a cause of action for personal injuries negligently caused by federal employees acting within the scope of their employment, 28 U.S.C. 1346(b)(1). The district court granted the United States summary judgment, finding that Couch was a “borrowed employee,” so that workers’ compensation would provide Couch’s only remedy against both the borrowing and lending employers. The Seventh Circuit reversed. The private trucking company does not merely “lend employees” to the Postal Service but provides mail transportation and delivery services. The company trains, equips, pays, and supervises its own employees using its own equipment to provide these services. View "Couch v. United States" on Justia Law