The Kelly Firm Files Last in Series of Appeals in Webster v. Grimwood

The Kelly Law Firm announced they have achieved the milestone of reaching the Colorado Supreme Court in their case, Webster v. Grimwood. Controversial Statute at issue; Arguing that “Tort Immunity” Should Not Apply in this specific case.

The Kelly Law Firm announced recently it has filed the last in its series of appeals with the Colorado Supreme Court in the case of Webster v. Grimwood (Case No. 2015SC000599). The Kelly Law Firm is asking the Colorado Supreme Court to intervene on behalf of its client, Curtis Webster, who was permanently disabled when he was crushed by a tractor implement in September of 2009.[1]

At issue is a controversial worker’s compensation statute that gives general contractors immunity above $15,000 in damages when they negligently harm their subcontractors. In March of 2013, a Durango, Colorado jury awarded Webster $1.8 million against the negligent party, Justin Grimwood. However, Webster’s jury award was then reduced based on a section of the Colorado Workers’ Compensation Act that gives general contractors immunity above $15,000 in damages when these general contractors negligently harm their subcontractors. Kelly is arguing that this statute should not affect Webster.

“This is a matter of law, but it’s also truly a matter of fairness and, in all honesty, common sense,” said Randal Kelly, Esq., of The Kelly Firm. “Webster prevailed against Grimwood, but the award was rolled back based on a statute that protects general contractors – but Grimwood is not a contractor. The statute should not benefit him.”

The case involves Webster’s argument that the tort immunity provisions of the Workers’ Compensation Act should not apply to Grimwood, who was not a contractor, let alone Webster’s general contractor. Even though the legislative hearings underlying the adoption of this tort immunity law establish that it was intended for “general contractors”[2], the Colorado Court of Appeals refused to acknowledge this legislative intent, and upheld the drastic result in which the wrongdoer is given immunity, and the victim is penalized.[3]

The Colorado Supreme Court can decide not to accept Webster’s appeal. If this happens, Webster has argued this would result in a miscarriage of justice. “It’s been a confusing series of rulings,” Kelly added. “But, we are hopeful that the Colorado Supreme Court will see the issues in the correct legal perspective.”

[1] See Webster’s Petition for Writ of Certiorari filed July 16, 2015.

[2] See Colorado General Assembly transcripts of legislative hearings for H.B. 1215.

[3] See Colorado Court of Appeals’ Opinion dated April 30, 2015.

Release ID: 90406