Dewey Cheatum vs. Dawn, Dna Labs and Fast as We Can Deliver

Topics: Respondeat superior, Tort law, Tort, Employment, Balance sheet, Broadsheet / Pages: 4 (801 words) / Published: Oct 29th, 2012
Dewey Cheatum vs. Dawn, DNA Labs and Fast as We Can Deliver

Dawn is a driver for Fast as We Can Delivery. She is a long-time employee and has the use of her delivery vehicle to get her to and from work. One evening after she completed her shift, Dawn is asked by her supervisor, Ian Smart, to drop off a special package at the DNA Laboratories, a research institute funded by the state. Rather than driving straight to DNA after work, Dawn stops at a supermarket to pick up a few things she needs at home. After leaving the supermarket and on the way to DNA, Dawn's vehicle is involved in an accident with Mr. Dewey Cheatum. Mr. Cheatum seeks to bring an action against Dawn, DNA Labs, and Fast as We Can Deliver. One must examine individually the liabilities and possible defenses of the three defendants: Dawn, Fast as We Can Delivery and DNA Laboratories.
Dawn will bear some liability for her negligent actions. According to Cheeseman, “A principal and agent are each personally liable for their own tortious conduct” (Cheeseman, 2010, p. 474). Dawn may be able to reduce her liability by claiming respondeat superior if it is determined that she was acting within the scope of her employment. Cheeseman states that answers to the following questions will determine whether she was, in fact, acting within the scope of her employment: * Was the act specifically requested by the principal? * Was it an act the employee was hired to perform? * Did the act occur within time period of employment? * Did the act occur within location authorized by employer? * Was the agent advancing the principal’s interest when the act occurred?
Dawn’s employer had asked her supervisor to deliver a package to DNA Laboratories on her way home from work. She is a delivery driver. Therefore the answer to the first two questions is a definite yes. She was acting on behalf of her employer at the time, even though she was technically doing so

References: Cheeseman, H. (2010). Business law: legal environment, online commerce, business ethics and international issues. (7th ed.). Upper Saddle River: Pearson Education, Inc. Bosse vs. Brinker Restaurant Corporation, d.b.a. Chilli’s Grill and Bar, Web Massachutsetts Superior Lexis 372 (2005) Superior Court of Massachutsetts.

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