In Smith v. Northshore Reg’l Med. Ctr., Inc., (La. App. 1 Cir. 1/26/15), the plaintiff was visiting a hospital when she slipped and fell in a puddle of water. The location of the fall was in a hallway where a janitor had been using a buffer machine immediately prior to the accident. The plaintiff filed a complaint against the hospital, the janitor individually, and the company providing the janitorial services.
The hospital moved for summary judgment arguing that the relationship between the hospital and the janitorial service was not an employee/employer relationship. The trial court ruled in favor of the hospital, in part, because the hospital did not possess the right to exercise control over work performed by the janitorial service. The First Circuit upheld the decision noting that the “lack of control” suggested there was no genuine issue of material fact as to the absence of an employer/employee relationship.