Quiz 33: Agency Liability and Termination
Personal Liability: In the case of Warner v. Southwest Desert Images (SDI), L.L.C., 218 Ariz. 121,180 P.3d 986 (Ariz.App. 2008), the jury found SDI to be responsible for the injuries Warner suffered. The Appellate Court affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded the case to the trial court for further proceedings. The Court stated that there was no dispute at trial that Hoggatt had been negligent. The Court further stated that an agent will not be excused from responsibility for tortious conduct because he was acting for his principal. When one party is an agent of another party, parties' liability is joint and several. The Court determined that Warner had a right to recover her damages from Hoggatt as well as SDI since the parties' liability was joint and several.
Doctrine As per the doctrine of respondeat superior, employers are liable for the actions of their employees or agents, would apply in these circumstances. The idea of respondeat superior is based on the theory that employers are normally in a better situation to take up the costs that may outcome from employees' or agents' torts.
Agent's Authority: In general, a principal and third party are bound only to a contract made by the principal's agent within the scope of the agent's authority. Arden was not acting within the scope of her regular duties when she offered to purchase the land from Wilson, so she did not have implied authority. Arden did not have express authority to purchase the land on behalf of A B. Further, A B did nothing to lead Wilson to believe that Adams had the authority to purchase his land on their behalf. Additionally, there was no emergency that would have necessitated the purchase of Wilson's land for A B. Therefore, neither party is bound to the terms of the contract unless A B ratifies the contract before Wilson withdraws the offer to sell.