Massey and his associates, as tenants of the building, brought an action against Tube Art and Richard Redford for the total destruction of their property. Will the plaintiff prevail? Explain.

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Massey and his associates, as tenants of the building, brought an action against Tube Art and Richard Redford for the total destruction of their property. Will the plaintiff prevail? Explain.

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Tube Art was involved in moving a reader board sign to a new location. Tube Art’s service manager and another employee went to the proposed site and took photographs and measurements. Later, a Tube Art employee laid out the exact size and location for the excavation by marking a four-by-four-foot square on the asphalt surface with yellow paint. The dimensions of the hole, including its depth of six feet, were indicated with spray paint inside the square. After the layout was painted on the asphalt, Tube Art engaged a backhoe operator, Richard F. Redford, to dig the hole. Redford began digging in the early evening hours at the location designated by Tube Art. At approximately 9:30 p.m., the bucket of Redford’s backhoe struck a small natural gas pipeline. After examining the pipe and finding no indication of a break or leak, he concluded that the line was not in use and left the site. Shortly before 2:00 a.m. on the following day, an explosion and fire occurred in the building serviced by that gas pipeline. As a result, two people in the building were killed, and most of its contents were destroyed. Massey and his associates, as tenants of the building, brought an action against Tube Art and Richard Redford for the total destruction of their property. Will the plaintiff prevail? Explain.

Explanation & AnswerSolution by a verified expert

Explanation

The employer-employee relationship can be established when one party exercises the right of control over the action of the other party. In case of an independent contractor, principal can exercise right of control over contractor but cannot exercise the right of control over their action. In this case, Company T had the right of control over the performance of Individual R as Individual R conducted actions based on the specifications given by Company T. Company T could have controlled the actions of Individual R, but it focused on other matters of the project. So, Company T can be held liable for the action of Individual R as the latter was an employee of the former.

Verified Answer

Individual M can succeed based on the fact that Individual R was an employee of Company T as Company T had the right of control over the actions of Individual R.

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