Strategies, Challenges, and Answers

One Or Two Prior Accidents Not Enough To Sustain Negligent Entrustment Cause Of Action.

James Lewis was president of American Savings and Loan.  One of the perks that Mr. Lewis enjoyed as president of the company was a company leased auto.  Mr. Lewis allowed Mrs. Mary Ann Lewis to use the company car from time to time.  One day while she was out on a drive, Mrs. Lewis caused […]

Even Though An Employee Is A Supervisor, If Not A “Managing Agent”, Employer Not Liable For Punitive Damages For Employee’s Acts

A night of fun at the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino turned into a nightmare for Dedric Holman and Christina Edwards. The two were enjoying some gambling in the pre-dawn hours of February 19, 1994. Dedric was sitting at a blackjack table when Christina wandered off to try her luck elsewhere. Christina happened to look […]

Freight Brokers Beware: You May Be On The Slippery Slope Toward Vicarious Liability For The Acts Of Your Independent Contractors

Brokers, in a desire to keep shippers happy, can exert too much control over independent contractors, turning them unknowingly into agents of the broker. Brokers will then face vicarious liability for the negligent acts of the motor carriers. Here is a great example with multi-million dollar consequences . . .

Will The Wider Availability Of Driver Qualification Data Encourage More Claims Of Negligent Hiring?

If the carrier admits vicarious liability will the jury get to hear evidence of negligent entrustment? The new CSA 2010 systems will gather and store more data on drivers than ever before. Even though the regulations themselves suggest that such data should not be admissible, plaintiff’s attorneys will never overlook the chance to try and stir the emotions of the jury by pointing to what they consider an inadequate driver history . . .

When Can A Trucking Company Be Held Vicariously Liable For Punitive Damages Assessed For Acts Of Its Employee Driver?

I hope that it has never happened to you. But at some point in the operation of a trucking company, you might get the call that an employee driver has been involved in an accident and that the driver is intoxicated. In Nevada and in many other states, drunk drivers are not only subject to criminal sanctions and can be sued for causing injuries, but can also be assessed with punitive damages. Punitive damages are those damages meant not just to pay back the injured party, but to punish the wrongdoer. If you as the owner were facing such a situation, you should be asking yourself, “Am I going to get punished for the wrongdoing of my driver?” . . .