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GARY ALLEN NASH v. DAMSON OIL CORPORATION

NOVEMBER 06, 1985

GARY ALLEN NASH
v.
DAMSON OIL CORPORATION



BEFORE ROY NOBLE LEE, P.J., ROBERTSON AND ANDERSON, JJ.

ROBERTSON, JUSTICE, FOR THE COURT:

This case arises out of the efforts of an operating lessee under an oil and gas lease to fit itself within the suit we tailored in Doubleday v. Boyd Construction Company, 418 So. 2d 823 (Miss. 1982) and thus avoid common law tort liability to an injured worker employed by a service and repair contractor. Keeping the necessary bodily contortions disguised, the lessee convinced the trial court of the fit and obtained summary judgment in its favor. As tailors of the Doubleday suit, we recognize that it was made for another occupying a different station in life. We reverse and remand.

II.

 Damson Oil Corporation, a Delaware corporation, is qualified to do and is doing business in the State of Mississippi. At all pertinent times Damson was the lessee of the producing unit in the Sabine No. 4-A oil well located in the northeast quarter of the southeast quarter of Section 21 and the northwest quarter of the southwest quarter of Section 22, Township 7 North, Range 7 West, Wayne County, Mississippi.

 On March 16, 1978, Damson Oil entered into a Master Service Contract with Trigger Contractors, Inc., an independent contractor doing business in Wayne County, Mississippi. The contract called for Trigger's performance of "certain work with respect to oil or gas wells, as well as any other services" which Damson Oil might require from time to time or until the contract be cancelled. Of relevance to the case at bar, the contract provided:

 MASTER SERVICE CONTRACT

 * * *

 III.

 It is expressly understood and agreed that all work to be performed by Contractor [Trigger] for Company [Damson Oil] shall be and is an independent contractor, Company being interested in the results obtained; Company shall have no direction or control of the Contractor or its employees and agents except in the results to be obtained. The work contemplated herein shall meet the approval of Company, and be subject to the general right of inspection for Company to secure the satisfactory completion thereof. The actual performance and superintendance of all work hereunder shall be by Contractor, but company or its representatives shall have unlimited access to the operations to determine whether such work is being performed by contractor in accordance with all the provisions of this Contract and the work order, or other written contracts if any. Contractor shall be entirely responsible for its own acts and the acts of its employees and agents while engaged in the work to be performed for Company, and in no instance shall Contractor or its employees or agents act as the agent or employee of Company.

 * * *

 XI.

 At any and all times during the term of this Agreement, Contractor agrees to carry insurance of the types and in the minimum amounts as provided for in Articles 1 through 7 of the Certificate of Insurance, [including workers' compensation insurance], a copy of which is attached hereto and made a part hereof. Contractor shall, upon request, furnish Company with certified copies of all policies. Prior to commencement of work hereunder, Contractor shall furnish

 Company with certificates showing its current insurance coverage and shall update them as required to keep them current so ...


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