Allen v. Payne & Keller Co., Inc – Case Brief Summary (Louisiana)

In Allen v. Payne & Keller Co., Inc., 96-2326, p.6 (La.App. 1 Cir. 4/8/98), 710 So. 2d 1138, 1142, writ denied 98-1821 (La. 10/16/98), 726 So. 2d 908, the Court noted:

"In order for the employer to be liable vicariously, there must be some type of employer-related catalyst, meaning the act performed (the intentional tort) should have some link to an employment-required duty."

In Allen, the employer was not found vicariously liable for the horseplay of his warehouseman. The warehouseman Stafford had evidently hit Allen in the buttocks when the latter was bent over in the warehouse. Although the act of striking Allen was an intentional act occurring in the workplace, "it was not incidental to the performance of Stafford's duties as a warehouseman." Allen, 96-2326 at p.6, 710 So. 2d at 1142.

The First Circuit held that vicarious liability will attach only when the employee commits an intentional tort on the business premises during working hours, and if the employee is acting within the ambit of his assigned duties and in furtherance of his employer's objective. Allen, 96-2326 at p.6, 710 So. 2d at 1141.