The owner of an apartment house employed a manager who, in the exercise of his duties, employed a janitor. Thereafter, the janitor became drunk and assaulted a tenant. The trial court expressly found that this fact was communicated to the manager who nevertheless continued to employ the janitor. There was no express finding that any information concerning the dangerous propensities of the janitor was communicated to the owner. However, the trial court found generally that both the owner and manager were negligent in retaining, the janitor in "their employ." Shortly after the first assault the janitor assaulted P, also a tenant. This assault did not occur in the course of the janitor's employment. The trial court awarded P judgment against both the manager and the owner. On appeal, Held: Affirmed. Liability of both the owner and the manager is based on original negligence, not on the respondeat superior doctrine. LaLone v. Smith et at., 139 Wash. Dec. 152, 234 P. 2d 893 (1951).
Edward J. McCormick Jr.,
Master and Servant—Liability of Master for Injuries Inflicted by Incompetent Servant—Respondeat Superior and Original Negligence,
27 Wash. L. Rev. & St. B.J.
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