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Q: Louisiana Worker's Compensation ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Louisiana Worker's Compensation
Category: Relationships and Society > Law
Asked by: nopopo-ga
List Price: $20.00
Posted: 13 Feb 2004 22:06 PST
Expires: 14 Mar 2004 22:06 PST
Question ID: 306674
In Louisiana, section 1061 of the worker's compensation law refers to
statutory employers.  When a principal contracts with somebody to do
the principal's trade and occupation and the fails in supplying
worker's compensation to the injured employee, the principal becomes
the statutory employer and is responsible for worker's compensation
benefits.  "Back in the day," this used to be referred to as a
"Section 6 defense."  Why was it referred to as a "Section 6 defense?"
Subject: Re: Louisiana Worker's Compensation
Answered By: pafalafa-ga on 06 Mar 2004 15:59 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hello nopop-ga (I like the name, by the way).

Thanks for an interesting question.

If you stop and think about, not many laws are actually written with
hundreds or thousands of sections (Congress does it, sometimes, but it
doesn't happen that often at the state level).  Instead, the original
laws as passed by the legislature are written, relatively simply, with
a Section 1, Section 2, etc.  They are then codified -- that is,
formally added to the body of law in the state under an appropriate
title (e.g. all Labor and Worker's Compensation law in Louisiana falls
under Title 23), and the sections are renumbered to be consistent with
the codification scheme.  As laws accumulate, section numbers can
accumulate as well.

This appears to be the case with the "section 6 defense" which now
falls under section 1061.

The history of the section six defense is discussed in some detail in
a 1979 case which I retreived from a Lexis search of Louisiana case
law for the term "section 6 defense":


No. 12424
Court of Appeal of Louisiana, First Circuit
368 So. 2d 206; 1979 La. App. LEXIS 3775
February 12, 1979

I've included below some excerpts from the case which reference some
earlier cases (going back to 1938!), a book on Worker's Compensation,
and the original law, all of which can offer you additional detail on
the history of "section six", should you so desire.

Here's the most relevant material taken verbatim from the above case
(with any comments of mine in brackets:

--The threshold question presented is whether a governmental entity
may avail itself of the statutory employer defense (commonly referred
to as a section six defense) and the attendant exclusivity of the
compensation remedy to defeat a tort claim. See LSA-R.S. 23:1032 and
LSA-R.S. 23:1061.

--In W. Malone, Louisiana Workmen's Compensation Law and Practice
(1951), Professor Malone in discussing the issue Sub judice stated:

"A private concern engaged in a hazardous business is liable for the employees of an independent contractor hired to
carry out a part of the regular business of the principal. Is this
true of public bodies which operate through independent contractors?
The concluding sentence of Paragraph One of Section One of the Act
(LSA-R.S. 23:1034) reads as follows...

[NOTE that what is nowadays Title 23, Section 1034, Malone refers to
as Paragraph One, Section One]

--In view of the fact that the employee of an independent contractor
is never to be regarded as the direct employee of the principal, the
question arises as to why this express provision was included. The
answer seems to lie in the fact that the claimant who is a direct
public employee enjoys certain advantages which are not accorded a
private employee...In fact, such an extention might give rise to a
situation wherein the public body principal would be liable for
compensation to the employee of an independent contractor without
enjoying the correlative right of claiming indemnity from the
intermediary contractor, which would frustrate the basic policy
underlying Section Six of the Act.

[There you have the direct reference to section six, with another to follow]

--"There is no suggestion in the Act that the provisions of Section
Six creating a principal's compensation liability are not fully
applicable to public and private employers alike...The case of
Washington v. Sewerage and Water Board of New Orleans, 180 So. 199
(La.App.Orl.Cir.1938)...the court determined that plaintiffs were
entitled to recover compensation from the board under section six (now
LSA-R.S. 23:1061) because the board was the principal (statutory)
employer of the deceased.


I trust this answer provides enough detail to satisfy your curiousity.
 The Malone book and the 1938 case undoubtedly offer considerable
additional detail if you are inclined to pursue the story in more

If anything here is unclear, please let me know by posting a Request
for Clarification, and I'll be happy to assist you furhter.

nopopo-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $5.00
Thank you.  This is exactly what I was looking for.

Subject: Re: Louisiana Worker's Compensation
From: expertlaw-ga on 16 Feb 2004 14:32 PST
I cannot find the information necessary to answer your question - the
answer, though, can probably be found in the legislative history or
prior versions of the statute.

My guess is that the reference means that the provision at issue was
"section 6" of the original legislation. Perhaps another researcher
can find a lead based on that possibility.

Louisiana statutes are online courtesy of the Louisiana State
Legislature. A number of formerly associated provisions have been
repealed, and unfortunately there is no legislative history or archive
of past versions of the statutes.
Subject: Re: Louisiana Worker's Compensation
From: nopopo-ga on 06 Mar 2004 06:22 PST
Perhaps another researcher can look at it???
Subject: Re: Louisiana Worker's Compensation
From: pafalafa-ga on 07 Mar 2004 11:46 PST
Thanks nopopo-ga.  The stars and the tip are much appreciated.  Hope
to see you back here one day soon.


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