VIII.D. Escaping Vicarious Liability - Independent Contracting | Jonathan Zittrain | June 23, 2011

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VIII.D. Escaping Vicarious Liability - Independent Contracting

by Jonathan Zittrain Show/Hide

Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Kendall

Roessler v. Novak

*Murrell v. Goertz

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  1. 1 Show/Hide More Miami Herald Publishing Co. v. Kendall
    Original Creator: bfidler.jd13 Current Version: Jonathan Zittrain

    Plaintiff was struck by a motorcycle. The operator of the motorcycle (Molesworth) was delivering defendant’s newspaper. It is unclear what the employment status of Molesworth was at the time of the accident. Plaintiff insists that Molesworth was an employee and that defendant was therefore vicariously liable for her injuries. Defendant insists that Molesworth was an independent contractor, relieving the company of vicarious liability.

    This case demonstrates how courts determine whether a particular actor is an independent contractor or an employee.

  2. 2 Show/Hide More Roessler v. Novak--"The 'Independent' Radiology Department"
    Original Creator: bfidler.jd13 Current Version: Jonathan Zittrain
    Can an entity be vicariously liable for actions notwithstanding the actual employment status of the wrongful actor?
    1. 3.1 Show/Hide More Murrell v. Goertz
      Original Creator: bfidler.jd13 Current Version: Jonathan Zittrain

      Defendant was collecting monthly payments for newspaper subscriptions. Plaintiff, a subscriber, questioned defendant about damage to her screen door due to newspapers being thrown at it. An argument ensued, in which plaintiff slapped the defendant, who then struck back.

      This case discusses the circumstances which render the determination of independent contract status a question of law, and not a question of fact.

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May 21, 2013

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