Global Hawk Ins. Co. v. Le, 2014 WL 1478514 (Cal. Ct. App. 2014)

Jerry Le was one of two truck drivers on a cross-country trip for V&H Transport for which he was to be paid a lump sum of $1,100 with no deductions. Le was seriously injured when the other truck driver was involved in a one-vehicle accident. After the accident, V&H refused to pay Le the promised lump sum because he did not finish the trip. He also was told he was not an employee and would not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. Le then sued V&H and its owners for his injuries which tendered the defense to Global Hawk Insurance under a commercial auto truckers liability insurance policy. Global Hawk refused the defense and filed a declaratory relief action, contending that Le’s injuries were excluded from coverage because he was an employee. The trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Global Hawk, but the Court of Appeal reversed, holding that there was a triable issue of fact as to whether Le was an employee.