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Taxi Cooperative Held Responsible for Taxi Driver’s Negligence

  • March 15, 2017

Emanuele Secci was awarded more than $330,000.00 after a jury determined that a taxi driver was negligent in causing a motor vehicle accident. The main issue before the court was whether the taxi company could be held responsible for the negligence of the taxi driver. The jury found that the driver was an agent of the taxi company and, therefore, the company was found vicariously responsible for the acts of the driver. The trial judge agreed with defense counsel that there was insufficient evidence for the jury to determine that the driver was either an agent or an employee of the company and granted the taxi company’s motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict. On appeal, Secci claimed there was substantial evidence of agency to support the verdict. The court of appeal agreed and reversed the trial judge. Although the jury determined that the driver was not an employee of the company, the court of appeal noted that the taxi company controlled significant aspects of the driver’s work and therefore there was sufficient evidence to find that the driver was an agent of the company, even though the driver was classified as an independent contractor. There is precedent for holding that.......

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