Subject: Introducing basic elements of the respondeat superior doctrine.
-Flatbed trailer separated from truck that was towing it and collided with P’s vehicle.
-Person driving the truck was an employee of the P, as well as the driver and owner of the truck.
-P paid the employee for haying fields, and let him keep the hay.
-Used the trailer for delivering hay on the day of accident, during the drive the accident occurred.
Can the P be held under the doctrine of Respondeat superior, and was the employee acting under the scope of his employment?
Respondeat superior: An employer may be held vicariously responsible for the tortious acts of an employee committed incidental to or during the scope of employment.
-The employer’s duty to exercise reasonable care to control its employee may extend to activities performed outside the scope of employment.
-We conclude that no party is entitled to judgment as a matter of law on either the P’s respondeat superior or negligent supervision claims. We reverse the trial court’s granting of Def.’s motion for summary judgment and remand.
To obtain a judgment against an employer under the:
(a) Respondeat superior doctrine: The Pl. must show that the employee acted negligently (nothing required regarding the conduct of employer other than employer’s participation in employer-employee relationship.).
(b) Negligent Supervision: The Pl. seeks damages from an employer on the theory that the employer was negligent in supervising an employee. (Pl. must show that the employer’s supervision was worse than the supervision a reasonable employer would have provided.)
Rationale for Respondeat Superior
1. Deep pocket theory
2. Risk spreading theory
3. Enterprise theory
4. Risk avoidance theory.
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