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Randolph v. Staffmark

Court of Appeals of Arkansas, Division II

February 25, 2015

JAMES H. RANDOLPH, JR., APPELLANT
v.
STAFFMARK, et al., APPELLEES

APPEAL FROM THE ARKANSAS WORKERS' COMPENSATION COMMISSION. NO. F909655.

Gary Davis, for appellant.

Wright, Lindsey & Jennings LLP, by: Edwin L. Lowther, Jr., and Baxter D. Drennon, for appellees.

KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge. ABRAMSON and HOOFMAN, JJ., agree.

OPINION

Page 390

KENNETH S. HIXSON, Judge

In this workers' compensation case, the Commission affirmed and adopted the administrative law judge's decision tat concluded that appellant James H. Randolph was both an employee of Staffmark and appellee Americold Logistics. Application of the dual employment doctrine, thus, protected Americold from tort liability under the exclusive remedy provisions of the Workers' Compensation Act. In this appeal, Randolph appeals the finding that Americold was also Randolph's employer, arguing that this finding is not supported by substantial evidence. We disagree with him and affirm.

The standard of review is well settled. In workers' compensation appeals, our court reviews the evidence and all inferences in the light most favorable to the Commission's findings and affirms if the decision is supported by substantial

Page 391

evidence. Durham v. Prime Industrial Recruiters, Inc., 2014 Ark.App. 494, 442 S.W.3d 881. Substantial evidence exists only if reasonable minds could have reached the same conclusion without resort to speculation or conjecture. Id. Although we give deference to the Commission on issues of weight of evidence and credibility of witnesses, the Commission may not arbitrarily disregard testimony and is not so insulated as to render appellate review meaningless. Id. We will not reverse the Commission's decision unless we are convinced that fair-minded persons with the same facts before them could not have reached the Commission's conclusions. Id.

What is at issue before us is the application of the dual-employment doctrine. This doctrine was explained by our supreme court in Daniels v. Riley's Health & Fitness Centers, 310 Ark. 756, 840 S.W.2d 177 (1992), where it held that when a general employer lends an employee to the special employer, the special employer becomes liable for workers' compensation only if three factors are satisfied:

(1) the employee has made a contract for hire, express or implied, with the special employer;
(2) the work being done is essentially that of the special employer; and
(3) the special employer has the right to control the ...

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