When people are seriously injured at work, they are generally limited to pursuing remedies under their employers’ workers’ compensation policies. However, when their employers fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance, they can file lawsuits against their employers in court. In the case of Hollingsworth v. Heavy Transport, Inc., Cal. Ct. App. Case No. B306127, the court considered whether the trial court had erred when it denied a jury trial to determine whether an employer had workers’ compensation insurance or not.

Factual and procedural background

Kirk Hollingsworth was employed by Heavy Transport, Inc. as a maintenance worker. On June 20, 2016, Hollingsworth was called to the scene where a truck hauling a crane had two tires that failed. He changed those two tires and was subsequently called back to the scene after a third tire failed. The third tire had blown out, and its tire treads were wrapped around the axle. When he tried to free the treads from the axle, the truck fell and crushed him, killing him.