F: Rath (D) hired Evanchik to repair her brakes; he negligently repaired them. Later, the brakes failed and Rath Collided with Maloney (P). The plaintiff seeks to hold the defendant liable for Evanchik’s negligence under the theory of respondent superior.
TC determined that Evanchuk's negligent repair was the cause of the accident and ruled in favor of D.
I: Can a motorist delegate her duty to keep her brakes in working order to an independent contractor
R: a motorist cannot delegate her duty to keep her brakes in working order to an independent contractor
If the repairman is negligent, the motorist is negligent.
A: If a third party is injured because of the negligence of an independent contractor, that third party may hold employer directly liable b/c his duty of care was nondelegable to an independent contractor. Nondelegable duties include i) the duty of a general contractor to construct a building safely, ii) duty of landowners to maintain their lands in a safe condition, iii) duty of employers and suppliers to comply with the Labor Code.
Rath was driving an automobile, which certainly presents a grave risk of serious bodily harm. Moreover, the defendant was required by the Vehicle Code to keep her car brakes in good working order. Thus, the defendant's duty to keep her brakes in good working order was nondelegable to Evanchik.
Co: repairer is certainly an independent contractor.
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