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TORTS OUTLINERabin Spring 2008Hammontree v. JennerFacts: Epileptic is driving—with a license and state knows he has epilepsy plus hisdoctor said he was OK to drive—and he has a seizure (even though taking his meds) and crashes into woman’s store and injures her. She sues. She drops the charges of negligence and seeks strict liability. She doesn’t get it.Principle: VICARIOUS LIABILITYDoctrine of Respondeat Superior:“Employers are vicariously liable for tortscommitted by employees while acting within the scope of their employment.”(p. 19)Christensen v. SwensonFacts:Swenson was a guard at the steel plant on an eight-hour shift without a break for lunch or bathroom, though she was allowed to order in or run out to get food across the street. Company knew about the food because the menu was prominently displayed in the office. Swenson was rushing back to work, driving negligently, and crashed and injured Π, who sues employers.Principle:Three part test for resondeat superior: 1)Employee must be “about the employer’s business and the duties assigned, and not whollyon a personal endeavor” 2)Employee’s conduct must occur substantially within the hours and ordinary spatial boundaries of employment3)Employee’s conduct must be motivated “at least in part”by purpose of serving employer’s interestsBurns responsible because: A) Having Swenson drive around in uniform heightened security, B) Burns was aware (never disciplined) and tacitly sanctioned that its guards would satisfy their need for nourishment in this way, c) “no break policy” encouraged her to be going too fast--As for “spatial boundaries” (she was just outside), it’s left to the jury--Restatement 7.07(2)--Vicarious liability gives incentives to supervise employees and be selective in whom one employs--Vicarious Liability “a kind of strict liability” --Assaults: no to the postal worker seeking to sue post office after boss beats him up in a fight, but yes to the parents of child injured by assaulting baby sitter (at day care facility) because she was responding “to stimulus of the job. Children: Parents vicariously liable to a very limited extent, but may be liable for negligently allowing children to do things (p. 58). Roessler v. NovakFacts:Mr. Roesler was admitted as an outpatient at Sarasota Memorial and treated by a radiologist whom Roesler believed worked for the hospital, but who in fact was an independent contractor. There was malpractice, but the hospital claimed that its not responsible for the contracted party’s actions. Principle: Apparent Authority:An actor is responsible for the conduct of an agent when it has—based on an objective standard—presented to the world that the agent is 1
acting on its behalf. Rest. 409 says employer not responsible for contractor’s action or inaction except in Rest. 429: when services “are accepted in the reasonable belief that the services are being rendered by the employer or by his servants,”—subjective. (Court: Objective standard vs. Restatement: Subjective (but objectively reasonable) Standard).