Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Seattle Personal Injury Attorney Chris Thayer
Handling Personal Injury Claims in the Seattle Area and Throughout Washington Since 1995

My name is Chris Thayer and I am a personal injury attorney practicing in downtown Seattle. I handle personal injury, medical malpractice and wrongful death claims throughout the greater Seattle area, including Issaquah, Mercer Island and Kirkland.

I am here to help you.

Call for a free consultation (206) 340-2008

Understanding Vicarious Liability

Posted Friday, July 27, 2018 by Chris Thayer

The Washington Supreme Court recently ruled that airports are not automatically liable when their contractors act negligently. This decision is important because it limits whom injured plaintiffs can sue for damages in certain circumstances. It also sheds some light on the vicarious liability doctrine.

*What is Vicarious Liability?*Vicarious liability is a legal doctrine that holds someone responsible for another person’s actions. This often arises in the employment context, when employers are liable for their employees’ actions. For example, if a truck driver gets into an accident, the injured party can sue the driver’s employer for damages because employers are responsible for an employee’s negligent acts when done in the scope of employment.

*The Washington Supreme Court Case*Brandon Afoa worked as a baggage handler at the Seattle-Tacoma International Airport but Alfoa was not employed by the airport. His employer was Evergreen Aviation Ground Logistics Enterprise Inc. (EAGLE), which contracted with four airlines to provide ground services, including baggage handling.

Alfoa was injured while operating a luggage vehicle. He sued the Port of Seattle (which owns the airport) for negligence, claiming that it failed to provide a safe work environment. Here is what happened at the different court levels:

The case might have turned out differently if the jury found that the airlines were agents of the Port, or at least that they were working together.

What Does This Mean for Me?

The Port of Seattle is not automatically liable if you are injured at the airport. It depends on the circumstances of your case and the relationship that the negligent actor has to the airport. But you are entitled to seek damages if you are injured by someone’s negligence. Make sure you file your lawsuit within three years of the accident and seek help from an experienced personal injury attorney.

Contact Us Today

Contact one of our experienced personal injury attorneys today for a free consultation if you were injured because of someone else’s negligence. We will examine the facts of your case and help determine who can be held liable for your injuries. We will do everything we can to make sure you receive the compensation that you deserve, including medical expenses, lost wages, and pain and suffering.