Responsibility of Employers for Acts of Employees

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Another employee of your paper mill, Hotspur, steals a shipment of wood pulp for your company to impress you with initiative to secure new resources for free. Unfortunately, he runs down a pedestrian crossing properly in the crosswalk on his way back to your factory, injuring her. If the pedestrian sues your company can there be a recovery for the injury? Discuss your answer.

The employee who stole the shipment will cause the company to be responsible for the recovery for the injury. I believe that this is a case of the doctrine of respondeat superior. This is Latin for “let the master respond”. The employee is an agent of the company therefore the employer is responsible for their actions. Even though the employer had no idea of knowing what the agent was going to do, the company is still liable for his/her actions. As noted in the text, the following example was given, “If a truck driver, the employee of a delivery firm, negligently runs a red light and injures a pedestrian, the owner of the truck is liable for the injury” (Hallowell & Miller, 2012). In addition, the employee could be terminated because of his/her actions while being employed as an agent. The employee could be terminated because an injury or possible death occurred that was not what the agent was contracted to do. The employee could also be prosecuted because the wood pulp was stolen. Even though it was an effort to impress the company it is still punishable by law because the goods were stolen, not free.
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