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Turner v. Entergy Miss., Inc.

Court of Appeals of Mississippi

May 20, 2014

CATINA TURNER, APPELLANT
v.
ENTERGY MISSISSIPPI INC., APPELLEE

COURT FROM WHICH APPEALED: HINDS COUNTY CIRCUIT COURT. DATE OF JUDGMENT: 07/23/2012. TRIAL JUDGE: HON. JEFF WEILL SR. TRIAL COURT GRANTED MOTION FOR SUMMARY JUDGMENT.

FOR APPELLANT: CARLOS MOORE, TANGALA HOLLIS.

FOR APPELLEE: ROXANNE CASE, FRANKLIN GARRISON.

BEFORE LEE, C.J., BARNES AND ISHEE, JJ. LEE, C.J., IRVING AND GRIFFIS, P.JJ., BARNES, ROBERTS, CARLTON, MAXWELL, FAIR AND JAMES, JJ., CONCUR.

OPINION

Page 116

NATURE OF THE CASE: CIVIL - PERSONAL INJURY

ISHEE, J.

¶1. In 2009, Catina Turner was working for Temp Staff Inc. when she was directed to Entergy Mississippi Inc. for work as a temporary employee. While in a restroom at Entergy, Turner claims she was injured when an air vent fell on her head. She filed a workers' compensation action following the incident. Several months later, she also filed a premises-liability claim in the Hinds County Circuit Court, First Judicial District. The circuit court eventually granted summary judgment to Entergy on the grounds that Turner's remedy for relief lay exclusively in the form of workers' compensation, and that Turner failed to prove the essential elements of her case. Aggrieved, Turner appeals. Finding no error, we affirm.

STATEMENT OF FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY

¶2. In 2007, Temp Staff, a temporary staffing agency, entered into a contractual agreement with Entergy's parent company, Guidant. The agreement stated that Temp Staff would provide temporary workers to Guidant and its subsidiaries, including Entergy, for a fee. The agreement also noted that Temp Staff must indemnify and hold harmless Guidant and all its subsidiaries in the event that a temporary worker were injured or filed suit for personal injury or property damage. The agreement was in effect during all times related to the instant case.

¶3. On March 28, 2009, Turner was employed by Temp Staff and was placed in a temporary position in Entergy's customer-service department. While at work, Turner entered a restroom and was allegedly injured by a falling air vent. On May 4, 2009, Turner filed a petition to controvert with the Mississippi Workers' Compensation Commission against Temp Staff. Temp Staff admitted that the incident occurred and that Turner was its employee, but denied the extent of Turner's alleged injuries.

¶4. On August 11, 2009, Turner filed a premises-liability claim in the circuit court against Entergy. Turner alleged that she was a business invitee of Entergy, and that Entergy breached its duty of reasonable care and duty to warn of a dangerous condition. She sought personal-injury damages, emotional-distress damages, lost wages, punitive damages, and other costs. Entergy denied all allegations, and soon filed a motion to dismiss.

¶5. The circuit court treated Entergy's motion to dismiss as one for summary judgment. After a hearing on the matter, the circuit court determined that the indemnification agreement between Temp Staff and Entergy, by virtue of Guidant, rendered Turner's claims moot. Furthermore, the circuit court concluded that Turner's workers' compensation claim was the ...


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