Robarge v. Bechtel Power Corp

In Robarge v. Bechtel Power Corp., 131 Ariz. 280, 640 P.2d 211 (App. 1982), the Court rejected the argument that the rules adopted for workers' compensation cases should necessarily apply in determining whether an employee was acting in the "course and scope of employment" in a negligence action: While workmen's compensation law and respondeat superior doctrine both involve allocations of costs regarding industrial accidents, they differ in scope. Workmen's compensation benefits turn solely upon whether the employee was injured while performing an activity related to his job - and "relatedness" is usually a function of benefit to the employer. In contrast, respondeat superior subjects employers to liability for injuries suffered by an indefinite number of third persons. To limit this burden of liability, the narrower concept, "scope of employment," has long been tied to the employer's right to control the employee's activity at the time of his tortious conduct. . . . We therefore reject the (appellant's) argument that workmen's compensation law be applied in this tort case. 131 Ariz. at 282, 640 P.2d at 213.