Goertz was making monthly collections for the delivery of P's morning paper which is published by D company.
P questioned Goertz about damage to P's screen door caused by the newspaper carrier throwing the newspaper into it. An argument ensued culminating in Goertz beating the crap out of P.
P sued Goertz and also newspaper company through vicarious liability.
Trial court granted summary judgment for D.
OK COA affirmed.
Is a company vicariously liable for the torts done by its independent contractors?
Generally, a company is not vicariously liable for the torts done by its independent contractors.
However, there are many, many exceptions to this rule.
An independent contractor is one who engaged to perform a certain service for another according to his own methods and manner, free from control and direction of his employer in all matters connected with the performance of the service except as to the result.
Goertz was an independent contractor hired by an independent contractor of the newspaper.
While P established certain policies and standards to which all distributors and carriers were to adhere, such policies and standards to not rise to that level of supervision, dominion, and control over Goertz's day to day activities as to make him D company's servant.