In N.J. Pet Sitter Lawsuit, Debate Over ‘Independent Contractor’ Status

January 2, 2013

  • January 3, 2013 at 11:49 am
    GoldenGirl says:
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    From reading this article, it appears the plaintiff also owns her own dogs. How do we know it wasn’t one of her own dogs that bit her? Were there any witnesses ? I vote innocent for the Golden !
    Maybe it thought the napkin was a dog toy, and in a moment of exuberance, caught the hand by mistake.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:24 pm
    Insurance Sam says:
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    as I understand, the higher court merely said this had to go back to district court for trial. hopefully, the jury there will see that the dog owners aren’t liable and tell the plaintiff to take a hike.

  • January 3, 2013 at 1:55 pm
    Dingbat says:
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    How do they know she didn’t provoke the dog? If this dog showed no prior aggression, what made him bite this time? It makes me crazy how sue-happy people are in NJ.

  • January 3, 2013 at 2:17 pm
    Trish says:
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    Are the defendants now going to have to pay FICA taxes on that $300 and get an employer ID number? This is ridiculous. The woman was an independent contractor – getting work from the agency as well as procuring work on her own. A person can have more than one way to make money – whether as an employee or independent contractor. If she wants to continue working as an independent contractor doing part-time pet sitting, she should acquire her own worker’s compensation policy. The fact that she knew the people as her neighbors does not make them her “employer” for this one-time deal.

  • January 3, 2013 at 3:41 pm
    Dog Lover says:
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    Dingbat, I suppose they don’t know but:

    1. Strict liability without exemptions would make that irrelevant. Dog bites, owner is responsible. Period I’m not from NJ so I don’t know if they have abuse exemptions.

    2. It would take a pretty brave person to try and MAKE a dog bite her on purpose, and to what end?

    I think that, regardless of the sitters status, if the dog bit her the owners should WANT to take responsibility for the damages as responsible pet owners.

  • January 3, 2013 at 7:28 pm
    Wayne says:
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    All HO policies sold in NJ have worker’s compensation coverage included as requyred by law and it appears to me that since this was a private arrangement between the dog owner and her neighbor, it would fall unde that coverage and be subject to the WC laws of the state.



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