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Rodgers v. Kemper Construction Co.

    Brief Fact Summary.

    Rodger sued Kemper Construction Co. when he was beat up by two of Kemper’s employees.

    Synopsis of Rule of Law.

    An employer is liable for torts under respondeat superior if committed by employees under the scope of employment.

    Facts.

    Rodgers was the employee of a general contractor for a construction project and Kemper Construction Co. (Kemper) was the subcontractor for the project. When Herd and O’brien, employees of Kemper, were off-shift but called in to do some extra work, they beat up Rodgers when he refused to drive them across the job site in the bulldozer. Rodger sued Kemper Construction Co. when he was beat up by two of Kemper’s employees. The trial court granted judgment to Rodgers.

    Issue.

    Whether an employer is liable for torts under respondeat superior if committed by employees under the scope of employment?

    Held.

    Yes. The judgment of the trial court is affirmed. Herd and O’Brien’s presence on the job site was beneficial to Kemper because Kemper needed employees to work overtime. Herd and O’Brien were also given permission to remain on the job site and their presence was routine to their employment.

    Discussion.

    An employer is liable for torts under respondeat superior if committed by employees under the scope of employment. An employer is responsible for a tortious act that occurs after an employee’s shift if the employee’s premises benefits the employer, if the employee had permission from the employee to remain on the premises and routine to the employment.


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