PUSEY, EXR., APPELLANT, v. BATOR ET AL.; GREIF BROTHERS CORPORATION, APPELLEE. [Cite as Pusey v. Bator (2002), 94 Ohio St.3d 275.] Torts — Wrongful death — Employer hires independent contractor to provide armed security guards to protect property — Inherently dangerous work exception — If someone is injured by weapon as a result of a guard’s negligence, employer is vicariously liable even though guard responsible is an employee of the independent contractor. (No. 00-1787 — Submitted October 30, 2001 — Decided February 27, 2002.) APPEAL from the Court of Appeals for Mahoning County, No. 98 C.A. 55. __________________ SYLLABUS OF THE COURT When an employer hires an independent contractor to provide armed security guards to protect property, the inherently-dangerous-work exception is triggered such that if someone is injured by the weapon as a result of a guard’s negligence, the employer is vicariously liable even though the guard responsible is an employee of the independent contractor. __________________ DOUGLAS, J. At all times relevant herein, defendant-appellee, Greif
Brothers Corporation, a steel drum manufacturer, owned and operated a manufacturing plant in Youngstown, Ohio. In 1987, Greif Brothers experienced several incidents wherein trespassers stole property from its parking lot. As a result of these incidents, Lowell Wilson, the superintendent at Greif Brothers’ Youngstown plant, decided to hire a security company to guard Greif Brothers’ property.
SUPREME COURT OF OHIO
In April 1987, Wilson, on behalf of Greif Brothers, entered into a contract with Youngstown Security Patrol, Inc. (“YSP”) to supply a uniformed security guard to “deter theft [and] vandalism” on Greif Brothers’ property during specified hours. Wilson told YSP’s owner and president, Carl Testa, that he wanted the security guard to periodically check the parking lot and the inside of the building. Other than those