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AMI 209 Issues—Agent or Independent Contractor—Burden of Proof

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 209
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
November 2021 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 2. Issues and Burden of Proof
AMI 209 Issues—Agent or Independent Contractor—Burden of Proof
(Alleged principal or employer) contends that (alleged agent or employee) was an independent contractor [for whose conduct (he)(she)(it) is not responsible], instead of an (agent)(employee) [for whose conduct (he)(she)(it) would be responsible]. (Alleged principal or employer) has the burden of proving that (alleged agent or employee) was an independent contractor.
NOTE ON USE
Use this instruction only if it is undisputed that the alleged agent was performing a service for and was being compensated by the principal. Otherwise use AMI 207.
AMI 707 should be given with this instruction.
Do not use bracketed clauses when the case is submitted on interrogatories.
COMMENT
When it is shown that the person causing the injury was at the time rendering a service for the defendant and being paid for that service, and the facts presented are as consistent with the master-servant relationship as with the independent contractor relationship, then the burden is on the one asserting the independence of the contractor to show the true relationship of the parties. ConAgra Foods, Inc. v. Draper, 372 Ark. 361, 276 S.W.3d 244 (2008) (alleged agent hauled poultry for alleged principal); Schuster's, Inc. v. Whitehead, 291 Ark. 180, 722 S.W.2d 862 (1987) (alleged agent, the grandson of the president of the alleged principal, installed a ceiling fan for a customer of the alleged principal); Phillips Coop. Gin Co. v. Toll, 228 Ark. 891, 311 S.W.2d 171 (1958) (the alleged agent hauled cotton seed for the alleged principal).
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