Who to Sue

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Q: I was struck by a vehicle owned and operated by a driver for a delivery service, which had an agreement with a supermarket to make home deliveries for customers of the supermarket.  He was delivering groceries for the supermarket at the time of the accident.  Who should I sue?

A: The most critical factor would appear to be control of the method and means of doing the work.  Relevant factors include whether the driver worked at his own convenience, was free to engage in other employment, received fringe benefits, was on somebody’s payroll, and was on a fixed schedule.

Suppose that the driver worked for the delivery service six days per week, from 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., that he was required to call a supervisor employed by the delivery service when he could not report to work, that he wore a t-shirt provided by the delivery service, and that he had a two-way radio provided by the delivery service.  Such evidence indicates that the delivery service indeed controlled the means and method of the driver’s work.

Suppose that the driver did not know the names of any of the supermarket’s managers, that he had no contact with them, and that the supermarket’s managers did not control the hours that the driver worked or how he made deliveries.  Such evidence indicates that the supermarket did not control the means and method.

Both as a wise precaution and for reasons of strategy, I imagine that your attorney will name all three – the driver, the delivery service or the supermarket – as defendants.

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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