When customers order takeout pizza, they are expecting it to arrive hot, fresh and fast. But pizza shops that promise prompt delivery (i.e., under 30 minutes) may find themselves moving from the dinner table to the defense table.
Firstly, that’s because vicarious liability – specifically, respondeat superior (Latin for, “let the master answer”) – allow employers to be held responsible for the reckless or negligent conduct of employees who are acting in the course and scope of employment. Pizza delivery drivers are typically employees (as opposed to independent contractors) and the delivery of food is a core function of the job. In a vicarious liability case, a plaintiff doesn’t need to prove the employer necessarily did anything wrong. However, one might also alleged negligence by the company if indication exists the company’s practices were causal in the crash.
That’s what happened recently in Kansas, where a Congressman filed a lawsuit against a pizza company, alleging the recklessness of a pizza delivery driver – abiding the company’s delivery practices – was to blame for a crash that killed his mother and seriously injured his grandmother, WIBW.com reports. Continue reading →