(978) 979-1223

ccobb@silverlakelegal.com

Silver Lake Legal

Construction, Insurance & Business Attorney Boston

Court Delivers Domino’s From Lawsuit – Franchisor Not Liable to Attacked Deliveryman

National franchise chains work with local owners under agreements that impose brand requirements. Massachusetts Appeals Court decided in Lind v Domino’s Pizza LLC the Domino’s Pizza franchisor had no possible liability in a case brought for a delivery driver who was murdered delivering pies in the middle of the night.

 

There is a general rule that there is no duty to protect others from the criminal conduct of third parties.

The case focused solely on the potential liability of the franchisor – not that of the murderer or the local franchisee employer. The court focused on the right to control details of performance.

 

The franchise agreement said it was not an agency agreement. Principal who hire agents are broadly legally responsible for the agent and to the agent. Instead the franchise agreement between Domino’s national operations and the local operator did not control the details of performance of operations sufficient to impose liability on the national franchisor.

While the franchise agreement required the local owner to comply with all specification, standards and operating procedures proscribed by Domino’s – the supervision, training, and directing of employees on delivery safety issues were duties of the local franchisee.

The murdered deliveryman’s estate tried several theories in their effort to recover from the national brand, vicarious liability, negligence, and third party beneficiary contract – none worked.

 

COBB COMMENT –Brands get financing to go national but they establish franchise agreements with local operators designed to keep liabilities from flowing up the chain. Presumably these agreements also require franchisees to bulk up on insurance – and that coverage is the proper target of claims for employees who get attacked at work, at least under the rules described in this case.

 

 

Get A Consult

Charles W. Cobb

Attorney at Law


ADDRESS

320 Nevada Street Ste 301,

Newton MA 02460

EMAIL

ccobb@silverlakelegal.com

PHONE NUMBER

(978) 979-1223

Silver Lake Legal Privacy Policy

This site was created using WordPress and uses Google Analytics to understand how posts are being received.

• This site has Google Analytics Advertising Features implemented involving Google Analytics cookies.

• Some of the ads you receive on pages across the internet are customized based on predictions about your interests generated from your visits over time and across different web-sites. This type of ad customization — sometimes called “interest-based” or “online behavioral” advertising — is enabled through various technologies, including browser cookies as well as other non-cookie technologies.

• Sliver Lake Legal has no policy or intent to use first and third party cookies together.

• Visitors can opt-out of the Google Analytics Advertising Features, including through Ads Settings, Ad Settings for mobile apps, or any other available means (for example, the NAI’s consumer opt-out).

• Users should also visit Google Analytics’ currently available opt-outs for the web.