Dave is a driver for Empire Courier Service. Around the company, Dave is known as sort of a hothead. During his previous employment at another company, Dave had been involved in a workplace fistfight with a fellow employee, resulting in criminal charges.
One day, between deliveries and in a company vehicle, Dave decides to get lunch. While leaving the parking lot at Big
Burrito Bistro, the favorite lunch spot for most Empire Courier employees, Dave negligently causes a car accident with
another vehicle, resulting in injuries to Victor, the driver of the other car. As Dave and Victor are waiting on the side of the road for the police to arrive, Victor comments to Dave, “Oh, you drive for Empire Courier Service. It doesn’t surprise me that Empire hires bad drivers because their service stinks, and their prices are too high!” Dave is so offended that Victor would insult his employer’s professional reputation that he punches Victor in the face, causing Victor to suffer even more injuries. Empire Courier Service does not, as a matter of policy, do criminal background checks on its employees.
Considering the legal principles discussed in Chapter 20, explain who is liable for Dave’s negligence for causing the car accident, and explain who is liable for Dave’s intentional tort for punching Victor. Provide your answers in a case analysis of a minimum of 500 words. Cite any direct quotes or paraphrased material from outside sources. Use APA format.
BBA 3210, Business Law 5
Dave Empire Courier Service Case Analysis -BBA 3210, Business Law 5
The relationship between the employer and employee is explained in the agency relationship or the agency theory. The agency theory largely focuses on solving the problems that can exist between the employer who is largely known as the principle and the employee widely known as the agent. However, it is worth noting that the only problems that can be solved using this theory are work-related challenges as a result of unaligned goals distinct aversion levels to risk. According to the theory, all agency relationships involve a particular level of confidence and trust between both parties (Kubasek, 2016). Additionally, the employee is required to work in the best interest on the principle for his activities often creates legal obligations for the principal. In the case given, Dave is the agent and is required to put the interest of his principal ahead of his own interests work in the best interest of his principal who in this case is the Empire Courier Services. Therefore, his actions such as careless driving and negligent accidents will eventually have legal implication on his employer.
Despite the existence of this strong relationship between the agents and their principal, agents are always liable for the torts they commit. According to the law of the country, there is a substantial difference between torts prompted by the principal himself and the torts which were not prompted by the principal making him or her innocent in such a case. Therefore, if the principal gives clear instructions and directions to his agent to commit a tort or had the knowledge of the repercussions of the agent’s executing his directives would bring harm to someone, the principal becomes liable for the injuries inflicted. Therefore, in the case above, the Empire Courier Services is innocent based on the direct liability principle. However, according to the vicarious liability principle, the principal is always liable for all actions and activities of their agents despite the fact that they may not be aware of their agent’s actions. Moreover, the principle says that the principal may expressly prohibit the agent from engaging in the activity, but still become liable for the injuries caused by his agent. (Forbes-Pitt, 2011) The principle of respondeat superior means that the principal is practically liable for every activity and action were undertaken by his or her agent. The modern basis for vicarious liability states that the principal often organizations with employees have the wherewithal to incur the costs of paying for any injuries traced in one way or another to the events they set in motion.
Therefore, in this case, Empire Courier Services can be held liable for the actions and activity of their employee who negligently causes an accident. Additionally, despite the fact that the company did not summon their employees to defend their professionalism, it is clear that Dave was trying to protect his employee and the company should be held liable for the tort committed (Forbes-Pitt, 2011). His liability for the accident and the punch should be carried by the Empire Courier Services based on the respondeat superior which places liability on the principal for any injuries or harm caused by an agent.
Forbes-Pitt, K. (2011). The assumption of agency theory: A realist theory of the production of agency. London: Routledge.
Kubasek, N. B. (2016). Dynamic business law: The essentials (3rd ed.). . New York, NY: : McGraw-Hill Education.