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AMI 702 Scope of Authority—Scope of Employment—Definition

Arkansas Supreme Court Committee On Jury Instructions-Civil

Ark. Model Jury Instr., Civil AMI 702
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 702 Scope of Authority—Scope of Employment—Definition
I have used the term “scope of [authority][employment]” in these instructions.
An [agent][employee] is acting within the scope of [his][her][authority][employment] if [he][she] is engaged in the transaction of business which has been assigned to [him][her] by [his][her][principal][employer] or if [he][she] is doing anything which may reasonably be said to have been contemplated as a part of [his][her][authority][employment] and is in furtherance of [his][her][principal's][employer's] interests, [even though it was not expressly authorized] [and may have been specifically forbidden].
This instruction is a correct statement of the law. Nipper v. Brandon Co., 262 Ark. 17, 553 S.W.2d 27 (1977).
The acts or omissions charged as negligence against the servant were not acts or omissions occurring in the scope of the servant’s employment; therefore, no claim was asserted against the principal. White v. Sims, 211 Ark. 499, 201 S.W.2d 21 (1947). The test of a master’s liability for his servant’s negligence is not whether the negligent act was committed while the servant was in his employ, but whether it was committed at a time when the servant was performing an act in furtherance of the master’s business or in line with the servant’s duty. Davis v. Kukar, 235 Ark. 139, 357 S.W.2d 275 (1962). In Kincaid v. Taylor, 247 Ark. 205, 445 S.W.2d 67 (1969), the employee owned the truck cab, and the employer owned the trailer; and under their business arrangement, the tractor-trailer combination was a unit under the employer’s control. An accident occurred when the employee was driving the unit home for the night, but he was still within the course and scope of his employment.
The rules in worker’s compensation cases on “arising out of and in the course of employment” are not determinative in master-servant cases involving the scope of employment. Van Dalsen v. Inman, 238 Ark. 237, 379 S.W.2d 261 (1964).
For the rule that express authorization is unnecessary, see Rex Oil Corp. v. Crank, 183 Ark. 819, 38 S.W.2d 1093 (1931); American Ry. Express Co. v. Mackley, 148 Ark. 227, 230 S.W. 598 (1921); and Healey v. Cockrill, 133 Ark. 327, 202 S.W. 229 (1918). For the rule that an employer may be liable even where the act may have been expressly forbidden if the act is in furtherance of the employer's business, see Wood v. Central Ark. Milk Producers Ass'n, 233 Ark. 958, 349 S.W.2d 811 (1961).
An employer may also be liable for an employee's unauthorized, intentional conduct if the conduct was expected in view of the employee's job duties. See Life & Cas. Ins. Co. of Tenn. v. Padgett, 241 Ark. 353, 407 S.W.2d 728 (1966) (holding employer was liable for assault that occurred during employee's efforts to collect money on behalf of employer because the conduct was expectable). However, in Cannady v. St. Vincent Infirmary Med. Ctr. 2018 Ark. 35, 537 S.W.3d 259 (2018), the defendant-hospital was found not liable for employees' improper accessing of a patient's medical records because the misconduct was not expected. The court reasoned that the hospital was entitled to expect its employees “to obey hospital policy, to remain faithful to their agreements, and to not violate federal law.”
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