JULIO GARCIA TRUJILLO, an individual, Employee-Below, Appellant,
ATLANTIC BUILDING ASSOCIATES, a foreign corporation, and GASTON SANTOS BAUTISTA, d/b/a SANTOS CONSTRUCTION, LLC, a domestic corporation, Employers-Below, Appellees.
Submitted: June 16, 2017
Jurden, Presiding Judge.
consideration of Appellant Julio Garcia Trujillo's Motion
for Reargument; Appellee Atlantic Building
Associates' Response; Superior Court Civil Rule 59(e);
and the record in this case, IT APPEARS
June 7, 2017, the Court issued its Opinion reversing and
remanding the decision of the Industrial Accident
Board. The Court determined that the Board
applied an incorrect legal standard in reaching the
conclusion that the certificate of insurance
("COI") obtained by Atlantic Building Associates
("Atlantic") satisfied Atlantic's obligations
under 19 Del. C. § 2311(a)(5).
the June 7, 2017 Opinion, the Court distinguished this case
from the Delaware Supreme Court's decision in Cordero
v. Gulfstream Development Corp.In Cordero,
a subcontractor allowed its workers' compensation
insurance to lapse after furnishing the contractor with a COI
that stated effective dates covering the work
period. The contractor did not know or have
reason to believe that the policy would not be effective on
the dates stated, and the Delaware Supreme Court held that
the contractor satisfied § 2311 (a)(5)'s requirement
that it obtain a COI "in force" because "[a]
certification is 'in force' if it is valid on its
face at the time it is furnished to the
contractor." In other words, in order to satisfy
§ 2311(a)(5), the contractor did not have to investigate
whether its subcontractor allowed its workers'
compensation insurance to lapse because the dates on the face
of the COI stated that the insurance would be in force
throughout the work period and because the contractor did not
know or have any reason to believe the coverage had lapsed.
case does not concern a lapse in coverage, but rather a lack
of workers' compensation insurance coverage for workers
and work accidents in Delaware. Atlantic obtained a COI, but
as was later revealed, the insurance coverage was for New
Jersey and did not extend to Appellant's Delaware work
accident. The Board recognized that this case is not
identical to Cordero, but nevertheless concluded
that Atlantic fulfilled its obligations under §
2311(a)(5) because the COI obtained by Atlantic was
"valid on its face." In its June 7, 2017
Opinion, the Court explained that the Board applied an
incorrect legal standard because it elevated the "valid
on its face" language from Cordero over the
plain language of the statute. Section 2311(a)(5)
requires that a contractor obtain a certification of
insurance "in force under this chapter"
i.e. Delaware insurance. Because the COI obtained by
Atlantic does not state that the insurance was Delaware
insurance, it cannot be valid on its face as to this critical
fact, and the Court remanded the case for the Board to
consider whether Atlantic exercised sufficient due diligence
to verify that the insurance coverage evidenced by the COI
was "in force under this chapter."
his Motion for Reargument, Appellant argues that remand is
unnecessary because the Court's holding concerning
Atlantic's obligations under § 2311(a)(5) is case
dispositive. In short, Appellant argues the COI
obtained by Atlantic certifies only that WVM Construction had
workers' compensation insurance, but not Delaware
workers' compensation insurance. Therefore,
Appellant concludes Atlantic never fulfilled its obligation
under § 2311(a)(5) to obtain "a certification of
insurance in force under this chapter."
motion for reargument under Superior Court Civil Rule 59(e)
will be granted "only if the Court has overlooked a
controlling precedent or legal principles, or the Court has
misapprehended the law or facts such as would have changed
the outcome of the underlying decision."
essence, Trujillo alleges that the Court misapprehended the
law by writing a due diligence exception into §
2311(a)(5). Not so. Section 2311(a)(5) requires that a
contractor obtain a "certification of insurance in force
under this chapter." The COI issued by WVM
Construction's insurance broker evidenced workers'
compensation insurance but was ambiguous as to whether that
insurance covered employees working in Delaware. Because that
piece of paper does not satisfy the "under this
chapter" requirement on its face, it was incumbent on
Atlantic to verify that the workers' compensation
insurance was in force in Delaware. Whether Atlantic did so
is a factual determination that is properly within the
purview of the Board on remand.
THEREFORE, for the foregoing reasons,
Appellant's Motion for Reargument is
IS SO ORDERED.
 Appellant's Motion for Reargument
("Trujillo Mot. Rearg.") (Trans. ID.