The Colorado Chamber’s Governmental Affairs and Labor and Employment Councils have taken “opposed” positions on HB 1348, a bill being pushed by the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association to expand liability to the business community for certain civil claims.
The bill seeks to overturn a recent Colorado Supreme Court decision (Ferrer v. Okbamicael) which held that when an employer admits liability for the actions of its employee, the plaintiff cannot bring additional claims against the employer based on the same incident. HB 1348 not only reverses this decision, but it also appears to expand liability to a person who hires an independent contractor – allowing for damages against that person if the contractor they hired commits a negligent action.
The business community opposes HB 1348, as it would encourage costly lawsuits against businesses – and potentially individuals who hire independent contractors – making them liable for things they have no control over. The bill has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee and is not yet scheduled for a hearing.