Sunday, January 28, 2007

Sexual assault necessarily outside the scope of employment in Tennessee

In this Federal Tort Claims Act case based on acts allegedly committed in Tennessee, Magistrate Judge Sargent recommended granting the government's motion for summary judgment, concluding: "Based upon existing Tennessee law regarding the doctrine of respondeat superior, in addition to law from other jurisdictions, I am of the opinion that the Supreme Court of Tennessee would likely determine that sexual assault and/or harassment committed by an employee upon a third party falls outside the scope of employment."

That ruling is in accord with a fair number of FTCA decisions - I never understood why these FTCA decisions don't seem to carry more weight when the employer is someone other than the government and the issue of scope of employment is at issue.

Also, we didn't have quite the same luck litigating the same issue some years ago in the case of Jamison v. Wiley, 14 F.3d 322 (4th Cir. 1994), but we did get the remand reversed, and won the case at trial on the statute of limitations.

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