Restatement of the Law Agency 267
In Richmond County Hosp. Auth. v. Brown, 257 Ga. 507, 508 (361 SE2d 164) (1987), the Supreme Court of Georgia considered this example from a comment to Restatement of the Law, Agency, 267:
Suppose a cab company holds itself out to the public as a safe, efficient supplier of transportation causing the public, including plaintiff-passenger, to justifiably believe the drivers are its employees.
But suppose there is a secret arrangement unknown to the public and this passenger which renders the drivers independent contractors in their relationship to the cab company.
If a taxi driver in a single collision negligently injures a passenger and a pedestrian on the street, the passenger may successfully pursue a claim against the cab company on apparent agency principles. Id. at 509.
Although the Richmond Co. case applied the doctrine of apparent or ostensible agency to a hospital/doctor arrangement, the doctrine has been considered in a taxicab company/passenger arrangement.
See Cooper v. Olivent, 271 Ga. App. 563, 565 (2) (610 SE2d 106) (2005) (noting that, under Richmond County, taxicab passenger can pursue apparent agency claim against cab company where company represents that its driver is an employee when the driver is actually an independent contractor);
Loudermilk Enterprises v. Hurtig, 214 Ga. App. 746 (449 SE2d 141) (1994) (evidence was insufficient to support claim that an implied or apparent agency existed between owner of company and its taxicab drivers where plaintiff was not passenger in taxicab, but driver of another vehicle involved in collision caused by taxicab driver) (physical precedent); Id. at 751-752 (apparent agency relationship between taxicab owner and its driver may give rise to tort liability) (Johnson, J., concurring specially).