Scope of Employment Rodrigo Martinez worked as a sales representative for eHarbo

Scope of Employment
Rodrigo Martinez worked as a sales representative for eHarbour and received a commission for all sales. Rodrigo often visited boat retailers and marinas in Florida to make sales. Rodrigo was traveling between sales calls in his role as an eHarbour sales representative while driving on I-75 in Florida when Rodrigo rear-ended another vehicle driven by Walter Black that caused significant damage to the other vehicle and personal injuries to Walter. Rodrigo admitted that at the time of the accident he was using the mapping and GPS functions on his cell phone to check the location of his next sales call and to determine how late he was running, and that he was not looking at the road.
Walter alleges that eHarbour is directly liable for Walter’s property damage and personal injuries for breaching a duty to train Rodrigo to not use his cell phone while driving, and is vicariously liable for damages because Rodrigo was eHarbour’s agent at the time of the accident, as he was en route to a customer’s business while acting as an eHarbour sales representative.
Discuss whether you think there is sufficient evidence to support a finding that an agency relationship existed between Rodrigo and eHarbour, to hold eHarbour vicariously liable.
What are the different factors that should be considered when determining whether a person is an agent or an independent contractor for tort liability?
Who bears the burden in showing the existence of an agency relationship and the scope of the agent’s authority?
This scenario is based on the following Illinois state case: Blockmon v. McClellan, 2019 IL App (1st) 180420, 436 Ill. Dec. 784, 143 N.E.3d 279 (App. Ct. 1st Dist. 2019), appeal denied, 434 Ill. Dec. 277, 135 N.E.3d 552 (Ill. 2019).

Leave a Reply