Victoria Jeffords sued defendant BP Products North America, the operator of an oil refinery, Fluor Constructors International, the engineering and construction manager and MC Industrial. She claimed that her husband, Donald Jeffords, had been injured when he was employed by Central Rent-a-Crane, which BP contracted with to provide crane services. He fractured both feet and his back when he fell seven feet while on a 13-inch wide catwalk on the crane with no guardrail while checking the crane’s fluid levels.
The U.S. District Court Judge granted summary judgment for BP, Fluor and MC Industrial finding no duty was owed to Jeffords and no breach of any duty existed under the contracts, at common law, or under OSHA.
The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit in Chicago affirmed, citing six reasons the defendants breached no duty owed to Jeffords, noting Jeffords could not sue his employer, Central Rent-a-Crane, as he had only a workers’ compensation claim.