ATS, Inc. v. Beddingfield
Alabama Supreme Court
878 So. 2d 1131 (2003)
Mercer Trucking, Inc. (Mercer) (defendant) entered into an employee-leaseback contract with ATS, Inc. (defendant). Under this contract, ATS, as the general employer, handled all payroll and benefit matters for, and technically employed, all Mercer’s workers. Mercer, as the borrowing employer, received the benefit of the services performed by its workers, who continued at their current jobs under Mercer’s supervision and control. ATS never exercised its technical power to hire and fire Mercer’s workers but instead left all hiring and firing decisions to Mercer. ATS conducted training sessions for Mercer’s workers, but Mercer controlled the content of that training. ATS issued Mercer’s policy manual, but Mercer controlled the content of that manual and enforced its own policies. Roger Walker (defendant) drove a truck for Mercer. While carrying out Mercer’s instructions to deliver a truckload of goods, Walker collided with a minivan, killing its occupants. As instructed by his policy manual, Walker notified Mercer, not ATS, of the accident. Glenn Beddingfield and other personal representatives (plaintiffs) of the crash victims sued Walker, Mercer, and ATS. The trial court denied ATS’s motion for a judgment in its favor as a matter of law. The jury found both Mercer and ATS vicariously liable for Walker’s negligence. ATS appealed to the Alabama Supreme Court.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (See, J.)
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