SW Legal Educational Publishing

Employing Taxicab Company Liable for Driver's Negligence While Off-Duty
Description Tennessee high court held that a taxicab company was liable for injuries caused by a cab driver who was at fault in an accident when driving the cab while off-duty. By municipal ordinance, taxicab companies must assume complete liability for operation of their vehicles at any time.
Topic Agency
Key Words Respondeat Superior; Negligent Hiring; Statutory Liability
C A S E   S U M M A R Y
Facts Mosley, a driver for Checker Cab, reported "off-duty" by radio in his cab and drove home in the cab. While heading home, a police officer attempted to stop Mosley for speeding, but he took off, and a high-speed chase ensued. Mosley ran into a car operated by Gleaves, who suffered serious injuries and sued Checker for damages under the theories of respondeat superior and negligent hiring and supervision. The trial court and appeals court dismissed the suit against Checker; Gleaves appealed.
Decision Reversed. The company was liable for the driver's negligence. A municipal ordinance requires cab companies to assume complete and total liability for every vehicle for which the company enters into a liability insurance agreement. Hence, it did not matter that a company employee was off-duty when operating the vehicle, the liability insurance agreement covers all vehicle operations.
Citation Gleaves v. Checker Cab Transit Corp., 2000 WL 198968 (Slip Copy, Sup. Ct., Tenn., 2000)

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