Stipulating to Course and Scope

In Dennis v. Collins, the United States District Court for the Western District of Louisiana was tasked with determining whether independent negligence claims against an employer survived once the employer stipulated to course and scope of employment. Often, following an automobile accident involving a company driver and interstate carrier, plaintiffs assert claims against the driver and the carrier, the latter generally falling under negligent hiring, supervision, or training. In Dennis, plaintiff did just that.

The court, however, found that a plaintiff cannot simultaneously pursue both (1) a negligence cause of action against an employee for which the employer is vicariously liable and (2) a direct negligent training and supervision cause of action against the employer when the employer stipulates that the employee was in the course and scope of employment when he committed the alleged negligence. Accordingly, after the defendant-carrier stipulated to course and scope of employment, the defendant-carrier’s motion for partial summary judgment was granted, and although the claims against the defendant-driver remained, plaintiff’s negligent supervision and training causes of action against the carrier were dismissed, with prejudice.

Dennis v. Collins

Eric W. Sella