Troops were not required to get permission from local councils before participating in an activity. Are the troop leaders agents of the Council? Explain.
Tony Wilson was a member of Troop 392 of the Boy Scouts of America (BSA) and of the St. Louis Area Council (Council). Tony went on a trip with the troop to Fort Leonard Wood, Missouri. Five adult volunteer leaders accompanied the troop. The troop stayed in a building that had thirty-foot aluminum pipes stacked next to it. At approximately 10:00 p.m., Tony and other scouts were outside the building, and the leaders were inside. Tony and two other scouts picked up a pipe and raised it so that it came into contact with 7,200-volt power lines that ran over the building. All three scouts were electrocuted, and Tony died. His parents brought a suit for wrongful death against the Council, claiming that the volunteer leaders were agents or servants of the Council and that it was vicariously liable for their negligence. The Council filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing as follows: the BSA chartered local councils in certain areas, and councils in turn granted charters to local sponsors such as schools, churches, or civic organizations. Local councils did not administer the scouting program for the sponsor, did not select volunteers, did not prescribe training for volunteers, and did not direct or control the activities of troops. Troops were not required to get permission from local councils before participating in an activity. Are the troop leaders agents of the Council? Explain.
In case of an independent contractor, the principal may have the right to control the agent but they cannot control the manner or the way in which an agent performs. Also, all independent contractors are not agents as the person employing them may not have the right to control them.
In this case, the council had no control over the action of the troop leaders as they are appointed as independent contractors, and they do not require council's permission to perform the trip.
The leaders are agents of council as they are independent contractors.