Possession of a Car by a Service Station Employee for the Limited Purpose of Delivering It to the Owner
Is Possession of a Car by a Service Station Employee for the Limited Purpose of Delivering It to the Owner a Bailment Relationship and Not An Agency ?
In Brock v. Patterson, 128 Ga. App. 257 (196 S.E.2d 351) (1973), an employee of a service station delivered a car to its owner by following her home as she drove another car.
While the owner instructed the employee to "follow her," id. at 258, she did not pay the employee and did not give him any instructions regarding how to drive her car.
The Court held that the service station employee did not become the agent of the car owner and "that only a bailment relationship existed between the parties with regard to Miss Brock's automobile." Id.
As the service station employee in Brock acted on behalf of his employer, Kennedy acted at the direction of and on behalf of her mother, and she was not paid or given any instructions by Sylvania on how to drive the car.
Her possession of the "loaner car", even if for the limited purpose of delivering it to her father, was a bailment and not an agency.
Implied agency may be created "when the statements or conduct of the alleged principal reasonably cause the third party to believe that the principal consents to have the act done on his behalf by the purported agent." Holy Fellowship Church &c. v. Brittain, 240 Ga. App. 436, 437 (1) (523 S.E.2d 93) (1999).
But it is not predicated on whatever a third party chooses to think an agent has the right to do, or even upon what the agent says he can do, but must be based on acts of the principal which have led the third party to believe reasonably the agent had such authority. Id. at 438 (1).