Is Olivia Munn legally responsible for the accident?

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On November 12, 2021, TMZ News reported Olivia Munn sued for wrongful death because an independent contractor, who worked on a home she owns, fell off the roof and tragically passed away a couple of weeks later.

As the owner of the home, is Olivia Munn legally responsible for the accident? Well…maybe. But first a little data, 53.6% of all injury-involved accidents occur at home. The workplace outside the home has only gotten safer over the last half century with mandatory OSHA regulations, employment law, safer equipment, etc. Sometimes when we hire someone to work inside our home, those same precautions aren’t always followed.

In California, workers compensation laws are super clear. If you are paying someone to do the work for you, then you are responsible for them, and for their medical care if they get injured. But if you are not paying them, then they be either calling you “Daddy” or “Mommy” or you are breaking a different set of laws. Even if someone is an independent contractor, a day laborer paid cash, your handy neighbor, etc, you are still responsible for them.

The good news is, if you have a regular “HO3” homeowners insurance policy in California it generally includes workers compensation assuming it’s your primary residence. But, what about the rental property you own that your mom lives in? What about that duplex you bought for your daughter to live in while she goes to school in San Diego? How about your prior home that you rent out now?

Well, those “landlord” policies which are also called a “DP3” by the in crowd of insurance professionals do not include workers compensation. If a worker gets injured fixing your roof at a rental home you own, that could be on you! So what do you do? Well, you could show up unannounced in San Diego at 9am on a Monday and walk right in because you do own the place, but you are not reading this article for parenting advice.

Back to the subject at hand, when you hire someone to do work on any property you own, you should always ask for a proof of insurance. Proof of insurance would ideally be a certificate of insurance that includes both general liability and workers compensation insurance. And in a similar vain, don’t hire unlicensed independent contractors as it puts you at risk.