Flipping the Knife
Q: At the local tavern, Charlie the cook was well known to us regulars – both as neighbor and one of two workers. Charlie would always mingle – when not preparing or serving the food, or relieving the bartender. One night, the talk turned to street crime. Charlie showed a pocketknife and said he carried it for protection. Then he broke away to go to fill a food order. Several minutes later, as Charlie was returning from the chore, flipping the knife, my eye came in contact with its blade.
A: Your attorney will argue that the tavern is vicariously liable – because Charlie was acting within the scope of his employment. It does not matter that, at the precise instant of your misfortune, Charlie was not plying his skills as a cook, waiter or bartender. The friendly relations that Charlie enjoyed with the patrons, enhancing the popularity of the tavern, were part and parcel of his employment. Even if there was no express understanding that Charlie would socialize, his interaction with visitors was a concomitant of the job. For Charlie to be regarded as acting within the scope of his employment, the tavern need not have foreseen the precise act or the exact manner of the injury as long as the general type of conduct could reasonably be expected. The tavern was obliged to anticipate that in the course of Charlie’s varied activities – in an instant of inattention – he might, through carelessness, do more-or-less this kind of injury, with no-matter-what instrument.
By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial
The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.
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