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Is the principal liable: Andrew hires Patricia; Megaborne hires Ed.

Discuss whether the principal is liable in each of the following situations. Explain your answer.

Andrew hires Patricia, an attorney, to negotiate a contract to purchase some property. He agrees to pay her $75 an hour for her services, and she agrees to use her own office and secretarial staff to negotiate and draft the agreement. One day, Patricia is driving her own automobile to a meeting with Edward to discuss the purchase of the land that he owns. Patricia drives too fast for conditions and has a minor traffic accident that results in $600 damage to the other vehicle.

Megaborne Corporation hires Ed as an outside salesman and instructs him to call on customers in a specified territory and to solicit orders for their products. One day Ed is driving the company car to call on a client. He accidentally drives the wrong way on a one-way street and has an accident with another vehicle that results in $6,000 in property damage and $30,000 in medical expenses.

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Andrew hires Patricia, an attorney, to negotiate a contract to purchase some property. He agrees to pay her $75 an hour for her services, and she agrees to use her own office and secretarial staff to negotiate and draft the agreement. One day, Patricia is driving her own automobile to a meeting with Edward to discuss the purchase of the land that he owns. Patricia drives too fast for conditions and has a minor traffic accident that results in $600 damage to the other vehicle.

Megaborne Corporation hires Ed as an outside salesman and instructs him to call on customers in a specified territory and to solicit orders for their products. One day Ed is driving the company car to call on a client. He accidentally drives the wrong way on a one-way street and has an accident with another vehicle that results in $6,000 in property damage and $30,000 in medical expenses.

Kindly think in the following terms: As Patricia is driving to a meeting with Andrew in the course of her duties, the principal or Andrew is responsible for the $600 damages. An employer's responsibility for the operation of a vehicle by an employee is determined by the principle known as respondent superior (literally, "the superior must answer"). Respondent superior means that an employer should be responsible for the negligence of an employee if the employee's actions fall within the course and scope of the employment.

Please think of the following
Andrew can take recourse to claiming that Patricia is not his employee because she is not "employee who is customarily employed by the Company less than 20 hours per week or less than five months in any calendar year." However this plea will not be accepted by the court because Andrew and Patricia are in a principal-agent relationship. Similarly, Megaborne Corporation is fully responsible for the actions of Ed and is responsible for the $6000 in property damage and $30,000 in medical expenses.

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Solution Summary

With a word count of 1233, the solution carefully explains both agency relationships including possible conclusions as to outcomes. Citations are included for reference.

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