Justice Rolando T. Acosta

 

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Renowned opera singer White was hurt in 2011, while performing at the Metropolitan Opera pursuant to a standard contractor’s agreement between her firm and the Metropolitan Opera Ass’n (Met). Supreme court, distinguishing Fouchécourt v. Metro. Opera Assn., 537 F. Supp. 2d 629, denied the Met’s motion to dismiss White’s personal injury action on grounds that she was a employee engaged in the performing arts, as defined by Workers’ Compensation Law §2(4) so that her claim was barred by WCL §11′s exclusive remedy provision. First Department affirmed. Noting the Met’s position in a prior unrelated action that solo artists, including corporate artists, engaged on a per performance basis were not considered employees, First Department determined that by written contract White was stipulated to be an employee of another employer. WCL §2(4)’s legislative history supports White’s position that it does not apply to “stars” who have the “clout” to negotiate the terms of their own engagements. Further, WCL §54(6)(c) provides that corporations, such as White’s, whose sole employee is an executive officer who owns 100 percent of the stock need not buy workers’ compensation insurance for their employee.

Justice Rolando T. Acosta

 

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Renowned opera singer White was hurt in 2011, while performing at the Metropolitan Opera pursuant to a standard contractor’s agreement between her firm and the Metropolitan Opera Ass’n (Met). Supreme court, distinguishing Fouchécourt v. Metro. Opera Assn. , 537 F. Supp. 2d 629 , denied the Met’s motion to dismiss White’s personal injury action on grounds that she was a employee engaged in the performing arts, as defined by Workers’ Compensation Law §2(4) so that her claim was barred by WCL §11′s exclusive remedy provision. First Department affirmed. Noting the Met’s position in a prior unrelated action that solo artists, including corporate artists, engaged on a per performance basis were not considered employees, First Department determined that by written contract White was stipulated to be an employee of another employer. WCL §2(4)’s legislative history supports White’s position that it does not apply to “stars” who have the “clout” to negotiate the terms of their own engagements. Further, WCL §54(6)(c) provides that corporations, such as White’s, whose sole employee is an executive officer who owns 100 percent of the stock need not buy workers’ compensation insurance for their employee.