Court Limits Application of Respondeat Superior-Engler v. Gulf Interstate 227 Ariz. 486; 258 P.3d 304 (App. 2011)

The Court of Appeals (division 1) held that respondeat superior did not apply to an traveling employee’s negligent acts that occurred while the employee was driving from restaurant to hotel.  The Court focused on the level of control the employer had on the employee’s activities.  Once the employee returned to his hotel, he was free to do what he wished until he arrived at work the next day. During that time, the employer did not control or attempt to control his actions in any way, including directing him where or when to eat, and when to leave or return to his hotel room. Thus, at the time of the car accident, the employee was not acting in furtherance of his employer’s business and was not subject to the employer’s control.