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Assault by Agent Cases Summarized By Accident Lawyer

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases dealing with assault by agent and reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing not only with the topic of Assault by Agent but also the related topic of intentional torts  For more information on assault see the page on Wikipedia

Assault By Agent-Cases

2008 Hilton v. Martin, 275 Va. 176, 654 S.E.2d 572.

Decedent was an emergency medical services employee who was seated on the passenger side of an ambulance owned by her employer. A co-worker brought highly charged electrical defibrillator paddles in contact with the decedent and she died. Trial court improperly upheld worker’s compensation bar. In this instance, the assault by agent had no relationship with the decedent’s status as an employee. The assault by agent was purely personal and thus the resulting injury and death did not arise out of the employment.

2003 Koffman v. Garnett, 265 Va. 12, 574 S.E.2d 258.

Thirteen-year-old public school student alleged that his football coach engaged in gross negligence and assault and battery when, while demonstrating proper tackling technique, coach ordered plaintiff to hold a football and stand upright and motionless, and without further warning, coach thrust his arm around plaintiff’s body, lifted him off his feet by two feet or more, and slammed him to the ground. Student weighed 144 pounds while coach weighed 260 pounds. The force of the tackle broke the humerus bone in student’s left arm. In prior practices, no coach had used physical force to instruct players on rules or techniques of playing football. Plaintiff alleged gross negligence. These facts were sufficient to make out a claim for gross negligence and battery. However, assault was not properly alleged since the pleadings do not include an allegation that plaintiff had any apprehension of an immediate battery which is the essence of an assault. Battery on the other hand is an unwanted touching which is neither consented to, excused, nor justified.

1971 Broaddus v. Standard Drug Co., 211 Va. 645, 179 S.E.2d 497.

Drug company contracted with detective agency to provide guards to handle traffic on parking lot. Officer asked plaintiff for identification; plaintiff refused, violent scuffle ensued. Plaintiff fled from officer; guard pursued plaintiff and shot him. Guards found to be independent contractors as to drug company; whether they were within scope of employment (i.e., whether deviation was slight, or marked and unusual) should have been submitted to jury under proper instructions.

1962 Simpson v. Broadway-Manhattan Taxicab Corp., 203 Va. 892, 128 S.E.2d 306.

Common carrier liable for assault by agent on passenger by on-duty employee whether within line of employment or not.

1962 United Bhd. of Carpenters v. Humphreys, 203 Va. 781, 127 S.E.2d 98.

If service within which tort committed is within ordinary course of business or scope of authority, then principal liable. It is within scope of employment if naturally incident to business and if done to further business or from impulse naturally incident to attempt to perform it.

1960 Abernathy v. Romaczyk, 202 Va. 328, 117 S.E.2d 88.

Master is not liable for every wrong which servant may commit during continuance of his employment. In present case accident occurred and fight ensued as to who had caused accident. As matter of law employee was not within scope of his employment at time he struck plaintiff. If fight had occurred as result of argument as to who had right of way, without there having been accident, then result may be different.

1954 Cary v. Hotel Rueger, Inc., 195 Va. 980, 81 S.E.2d 421.

Assault by agent or employee of defendant who shot and killed plaintiff’s decedent in elevator on premises of defendant and while employee was on duty. Employee’s actions were generated by argument with decedent over debt; tortious act did not arise fairly and naturally incident to business of employer and it was not done with view to further master’s interests, but arose out of motive purely personal to employee.

1948 Tri-State Coach Corp. v. Walsh, 188 Va. 299, 49 S.E.2d 363.

If employee’s acts were in performance of his duties, and in execution of service entrusted to him, then master is liable although immediate act goes beyond servant’s strict line of duty and authority and be not in interest of master.

1947 Baskett v. Banks, 186 Va. 1022, 45 S.E.2d 173.

Assault by agent committed in pursuit of employer’s business may be within scope of employment.

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Assault by Agent Cases Summarized By Accident Lawyer

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