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Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Ind. Decisions - Court of Appeals issues 1 opinion(s) today (and 1 NFP memorandum decision(s))

For publication opinions today (1):

In Dale Sedam, Kim Sedam, and Bryan Norris, as co-personal representatives of the Estate of David C. Hamblin, deceased v. 2JR Pizza Enterprises, LLC doing business as Pizza Hut #013413, et al., a 13-page opinion, Judge Mathias writes:

David C. Hamblin (“Hamblin”) was killed in a car accident involving Ralph Bliton (“Bliton”) and Amanda Parker (“Parker”), who was employed as a Pizza Hut delivery driver. Dale Sedam, Kim Sedam, and Bryan Norris, the copersonal representatives of Hamblin’s Estate (collectively “the Estate”), filed a complaint against Parker and her employer, Pizza Hut, alleging that Parker, acting in the course and scope of her employment with Pizza Hut, negligently operated her vehicle and caused the accident that resulted in Hamblin’s death.

The Estate also alleged Pizza Hut negligently hired, trained, supervised, and retained Parker. Pizza Hut filed a motion for summary judgment on that claim, and the Jefferson Circuit Court granted partial summary judgment in Pizza Hut’s favor. The Estate appeals and argues that the trial court erred when it concluded that the Estate could only proceed with its negligence claim against Pizza Hut under a theory of respondeat superior in light of Pizza Hut’s admission that Parker was acting with the scope of her employment.

Concluding that an employer’s admission that its employee committed the alleged negligent act within the course and scope of her employment does not preclude an action for negligent hiring, training, supervision, and retention, we reverse and remand for proceedings consistent with this opinion. * * *

The issue at the heart of this appeal is whether a plaintiff may establish an employer’s liability proceeding on both the theory of negligent hiring and the theory of respondeat superior where the employer has admitted that the employee was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment. To support their respective arguments, the Estate cites to our supreme court’s opinion in Broadstreet v. Hall, 168 Ind. 192, 80 N.E. 145 (1907), and Pizza Hut directs our attention to this court’s opinion in Tindall v. Enderle, 162 Ind. App. 524, 320 N.E.2d 764 (1974). * * *

As we noted above, over a century ago, the Broadstreet court held that allowing a plaintiff to pursue both theories of recovery was proper. Because negligent hiring, retention, or supervision are separate torts that are not derivative of the employee’s negligence, an employer’s admission that the employee was acting within the course and scope of his or her employment should not preclude a plaintiff from arguing both theories of recovery. * * *

Under the doctrine of stare decisis, we are bound by our supreme court’s Broadstreet decision. Moreover, allowing the fact-finder consider Pizza Hut’s and its employee’s fault, if any, in causing the accident that resulted in Hamblin’s death is consistent with our Comparative Fault Act. For all of these reasons, we conclude that the trial court erred when it granted summary judgment to Pizza Hut on the Estate’s negligent hiring and retention claim.

NFP civil decisions today (0):

NFP criminal decisions today (1):

Mark H. Greedy v. State of Indiana (mem. dec.)

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 27, 2016 11:04 AM
Posted to Ind. App.Ct. Decisions