Friday, October 10, 2014

O'Shea v. Welch case brief summary

O'Shea v. Welch case brief summary

F: D was driving from Osco store to deliver football tickets to store managers. Along the way, D decided to pull into a service station for an estimate and struck P’s car. P sued D for neg. and Osco for vicarious liability.
TC concluded that D was not acting with in the scope of employment during the service station stop and ruled for Osco.

I: whether an employer exempt from vicarious liability when an employee’s business trip is short deviated to the maintenance of the employer’s vehicle.

R: No.
Under the slight deviation rule, a detour that involves a complete abandonment of the employment relationship relieves an employer of vicarious liability.

A: reversed

C: Under the slight deviation rule, there was no such abandonment in this case. TO be w/in the scope of employment, an employee must be performing actions for which he was employed or anything incidental to his employment. The conduct need not be specifically authorized or forbidden by the employer, but merely foreseeable from the nature of his employment.
It must be determined whether the employee’s actions constitute a detour, which is w/in the scope of employment, or a frolic, which involves complete abandonment of the employment relationship.
D intended to stop for a maintenance inspection on a car used for Osco’s purposes. It occurred w/in minutes and feet of his
direct business route and on the roadway before entering the service station. Further, as a manager, D had the freedom to
attend to personal needs throughout the day, and the Osco may have expected such maintenance stops to occur while on company business.

Co: Several factors in determining whether an employee has embarked on a slight or substantial deviation
1. employee’s intent
2. nature, time and place of the deviation
time consumed in the deviation
work for which the employee was hired
5. incidental acts reasonably expected by the employer
freedom allowed the employee in performing his job responsibilities.

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