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Employer Liability for Employee’s Acts Beyond Scope of Employment

I’m Katelyn Holub, an attorney focusing on personal injury law in northwest Indiana.

Welcome to Personal Injury Primer, where we break down the law into simple terms, provide legal tips, and discuss topics related to personal injury law.

Today’s question comes from a caller who asks “can employers can be legally responsible for wrongful conduct on the part of their employees that is outside the scope of the employee’s employment engagement?”

In general, employers are not normally liable for the conduct of employees that is outside of the scope and nature of their employment.

However, Indiana has an exception to that rule that is called the common carrier exception.

The exception applies when an employer has assumed, at least under the law, what is considered a non-delegable duty to protect the safety of the person that’s injured.

In such a circumstance, if the employer has assumed that non-delegable duty, then the conduct of an employee that is outside the scope of the employment arrangement, can be attributed to the employer and the employer can be held legally responsible.

Examples of cases where this might apply would be a railroad, a bus company, a case where you’re on a common carrier like an airline, or you’re at an inn, or hotel.

Even if you’re being held by the police or you’re being held in a mental facility for an evaluation, the rule might apply.

In these circumstances, if employees do things that are beyond the scope of their employment, you will have a fighting chance of holding the employer legally responsible.

These cases are difficult to sort through, however, and we suggest that you call an attorney if you have a question about this potential type of case.

I hope you found this information helpful. If you have questions about your legal rights if you get hurt due to the carelessness of another person, or as a result of substandard medical care, or due to a product defect, construction injury, or any other type of personal injury, please give us a call at (219) 736-9700. You can also learn more about us by visiting our website at DavidHolubLaw.com – while there make sure you request a copy of our book “Fighting for Truth”.