Can a contracted employee receiving a 1099 get named in the company lawsuit?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Can a contracted employee receiving a 1099 get named in the company lawsuit?

I am working for a LLC company who is being sued and I am a contracted
employee. I receive a 1099 from the company. The lawsuit keeps
changing into something else. I am not sure if I am safe as a employee
as I do not want to get named in the lawsuit as well and they come
after my family, home and money. Is that possible?

Asked on November 18, 2016 under Employment Labor Law, Idaho


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 6 years ago | Contributor

Two different issues here.
First, can you be successfully sued? Not unless you personally did something wrong (e.g. defamed someone, misappropriated property, including intellectual property, ran over someone while driving a work vehicle, etc.) in the course of employment: you are not liable simply because you are a contractor working for the LLC, but could be liable for your own wrongful acts, if any.
Second, can you be at least initially *named* in a lawsuit? Unfortunately, yes: the courts do not "prescreen" lawsuits to make sure they are valid as to all defendants, so the plaintiff, or person suing, can name you and force you to respond. But if  there is no basis for holding you liable, you should have a good defense and can likely "get out of" the suit (e.g. get it dismissed as to you) fairly early in the process.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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