Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Sheridan

In Northwestern Mut. Life Ins. Co. v. Sheridan, 630 So. 2d 384, 390 (Ala. 1993) the insurance company argued that 6-11-27 shielded it from vicarious liability for punitive damages, because of a lack of evidence to prove the elements of 6-11-27(a). The Sheridans did assert a timely claim alleging that the insurance company had negligently or wantonly hired and/or supervised its agent, together with a claim alleging fraud. The Court stated in Sheridan: "In this connection, it must be observed that 6-11-27 modifies the common-law rule of vicarious liability by requiring proof of a higher degree of culpability on the part of the principal. Thus, as a logical matter, if plaintiffs can meet the statutory requirement for vicarious liability, they will, in many cases, also have established the elements of their claims for wantonness in the hiring and supervision of the agent." (630 So. 2d at 390.)