Can a store owner be held liable for property damage caused by their employee while they are on duty?

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Can a store owner be held liable for property damage caused by their employee while they are on duty?

Case in point, store employee, while on duty was fighting in the parking lot with his son and caused approximetley $600 of damage to my car that was in the parking lot.

Asked on June 14, 2013 under Business Law, Texas

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 8 years ago | Contributor

No, the owner would not be liable. Any employer is only liable for acts committed by an employee which are part of his/her employment; for example, a pizzeria can be liable for a car accident if a pizza deliverer runs into someone while making a delivery--that's because the employee was doing his/her job (driving to deliver pizzas) when the accident occured. But it is not part of this employee's job to fight with his son in the parking lot; it is wholly outside the terms of his employment. You should be suing the employee and/or his son.


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