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Webb v. EE3, and FMC Technologies, Inc.

United States District Court, D. Colorado

March 27, 2019

TROY WEBB, Plaintiff,
v.
EE3, and FMC TECHNOLOGIES, INC., Defendants.

          OPINION AND ORDER GRANTING MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT

          Marcia S. Krieger United States District Judge.

         THIS MATTER comes before the Court pursuant to Defendant EE3, LLC's (“EE3”) Motion for Summary Judgment (#89). The Court also has reviewed the opposition and supporting briefing thereto (#100, #101).

         I. Jurisdictional Statement

         Mr. Webb invokes the Court's subject-matter jurisdiction premised upon diversity of citizenship under 28 U.S.C. § 1332.

         II. Summary of Relevant Facts

         The Court summarizes the pertinent facts here and elaborates as necessary in its analysis.

         EE3 is the owner and operator of an oil well in Jackson County, Colorado. One of the steps in oil production is “oiling” or “hot oiling, ” by which open flames are used to separate saleable oil from water and condensates. EE3 entered into a subcontract with Adler Hot Oil Services, Inc. (“Adler”) to perform the oiling at ¶ 3's Jackson County well. Adler, in turn, contracted with a staffing agency called RifleWorks, Inc. (“Rifle”) to provide it with employees.

         Mr. Webb was nominally an employee of Rifle, but he performed oiling work for Adler, and was badly burned while doing so. Both Rifle and Adler maintained Worker's Compensation insurance policies, and Mr. Webb applied for and received Worker's Compensation benefits.

         Mr. Webb brings this action against EE3 contending that it negligently operated the well in various respects, and that such negligence led to his injuries. In the Amended Complaint (#43), Mr. Webb alleges a single claim sounding in common-law negligence, presumably under Colorado law, against each of EE3 and FMC[1].

         EE3 moves (# 89) for summary judgment on the claim against it, arguing that it is precluded by the Colorado Worker's Compensation scheme pursuant to C.R.S. § 8-41-401(1)(a).

         III. Analysis

         A. Standard of review

         Rule 56 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure facilitates the entry of a judgment only if no trial is necessary. See White v. York Int'l Corp., 45 F.3d 357, 360 (10th Cir. 1995). Thus, the primary question presented to the Court in considering a Motion for Summary Judgment or a Motion for Partial Summary Judgment is: is a trial required?

         A trial is required if there are material factual disputes to resolve. As a result, entry of summary judgment is authorized only “when there is no genuine dispute as to any material fact and the movant is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” Fed.R.Civ.P. 56(a); Savant Homes, Inc. v. Collins, 809 F.3d 1133, 1137 (10th Cir. 2016). A fact is material if, under the substantive law, it is an essential element of the claim. See Anderson v. Liberty Lobby, Inc., 477 U.S. 242, 248 (1986). A dispute is genuine if the conflicting ...


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