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AMI 701 Agent—Employee—Definition

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 701
Arkansas Model Jury Instructions-Civil
December 2023 Update
Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil
Chapter 7. Agency—Employment—Partnership—Joint Enterprise—Imputed Liability
AMI 701 Agent—Employee—Definition
An [agent][employee] is a person who, by agreement with another called the [principal][employer], acts for the [principal][employer] and is subject to [his][her][its] control. The agreement may be oral or written or implied from the conduct of the parties and may be with or without compensation.
If one person has the right to control the actions of another at a given time, the relationship of [principal and agent][employer and employee] may exist at that time, even though the right to control may not actually have been exercised.
If the jury must determine whether certain alleged misconduct is to be imputed to a party because of the possible existence of an agency or employment relationship, AMI 207 should be given. On the other hand, if the relationship permitting the imputation of conduct is admitted, use AMI 208.
Use AMI 707 if the jury is to decide whether a person was an agent or an independent contractor.
The following cases discuss the issue of the right to control: One neighbor mowing another neighbor's yard did not create a principal-agent relationship. The right to control was not established. There is a marked difference between the authority of one to stop another from doing the work, and one's authority to control the exact manner in which the other goes about the task. Taylor v. Gill, 326 Ark. 1040, 934 S.W.2d 919 (1996). It was error for the trial court to find an agency relationship as a matter of law because the evidence was conflicting as to whether one had control over the use of the automobile or had relinquished control to another. Crouch v. Twin City Transit, 245 Ark. 778, 434 S.W.2d 816 (1969).
For issues regarding borrowed servants, see AMI 707A.
The following cases discuss relationships in which agency was at issue: The mere fact that the parent owned the vehicle which the eighteen-year-old child was driving at the time of the accident does not justify a jury instruction on the issue of an agency relationship between the two. McMahan v. Berry, 319 Ark. 88, 890 S.W.2d 242 (1994). A physician may be found to be an agent or employee of a for-profit clinic or hospital where he practices. Medi—Stat, Inc. v. Kusturin, 303 Ark. 45, 792 S.W.2d 869 (1990). Negligence of a bailee is not imputable to the bailor. A bailee occupies a different position from that of an agent or employee. Bill C. Harris Const. Co. Inc. v. Powers, 262 Ark. 96, 554 S.W.2d 332 (1977). When the owner of a vehicle asks another person to drive the vehicle for him to a certain place, and the other person complies with the request and is on the prescribed route, the driver is acting as the agent of the owner and not as a bailee of the vehicle as a matter of law. Campbell v. Bastian, 236 Ark. 205, 365 S.W.2d 249 (1963).
While a corporation in the proper case might be held liable for the acts or omissions of its corporate officers under a theory of respondeat superior, a corporate officer may not be held individually liable for harm done by a corporation unless personally involved in the events surrounding the injury. Bayird v. Floyd, 2009 Ark. 455, 308 S.W.3d 142 (affirming summary judgment in favor of corporate officer; general allegations of officer's responsibility for overall corporate philosophy, unsupported by specific facts showing direct personal involvement in incident, held insufficient); McGraw v. Weeks, 326 Ark. 285, 930 S.W.2d 365 (1996) (holding that evidence was sufficient to make out a jury question that farm manager was personally involved in alleged tortious actions); Cash v. Carter, 312 Ark. 41, 847 S.W.2d 18 (1993) (holding that plaintiff failed to present evidence that corporate officer was personally involved in events of injury).
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