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Mill Street Church of Christ v. Hogan

    Brief Fact Summary. The Petitioner, Mill Street Church of Christ, hired Bill Hogan to paint the church. Bill Hogan then hired Respondent, Samuel Hogan, who filed a claim for Worker’s Compensation against Petitioner when he was injured on the job.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law. Implied authority is actual authority that is proven circumstantially to indicate that the principal intended to delegate powers to the agent that are necessary for carrying out the agent’s duties, and one major circumstantial factor is prior work performed by agent for principal.

    Facts. Bill Hogan was hired on several occasions by Petitioner, and during the prior occasions Petitioner was aware that Bill Hogan would hire Respondent as a helper. During the current painting job, Petitioner requested that Bill Hogan use Gary Petty as a helper, but Petitioner warned Bill Hogan that Petty was difficult to reach. Petitioner never demanded that Petty be used, so Bill Hogan hired his brother again to help with a difficult portion of the church. Shortly after starting, Respondent broke his arm falling off a ladder. Bill Hogan was notified by a church elder that the church was insured, and the elder paid Bill Hogan for the hours worked. The church also supplied all the necessary tools, and Bill Hogan bought supplies on the church’s account.

    Issue. The issue is whether Bill Hogan was an agent of Petitioner that had the implied power to hire Respondent.

    Held. Bill Hogan, as an agent for Petitioner, had the power to hire Respondent.


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