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Kime v. Hobbs

562 N.W.2d 705 (1997)

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Kime v. Hobbs

Supreme Court of Nebraska

562 N.W.2d 705 (1997)

Facts

Edward Yelli was driving a truck-tractor hauling a livestock trailer when he rear-ended the vehicle in which Joan Kime (plaintiff) was a passenger. Kim was seriously injured. Yelli owned the tractor but was transporting the trailer for William Hobbs (defendant), a farmer-rancher who hired truckers to transport cattle using Hobbs’s livestock trailers. Hobbs hired truckers to transport his cattle on an as-needed basis and used a dispatcher to match truckers with specific jobs. Yelli performed transportation services for Hobbs using Yelli’s own truck, but was free to accept or not select any particular assignment. Kime brought a civil suit against Hobbs under a theory of vicarious liability for the actions of Yelli. In district court, Hobbs filed a motion for summary judgment on the claims, arguing that Yelli was an independent contractor and not an employee. The district court granted the motion, finding no genuine issue of fact on the issue. Kime appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Gerrard, J.)

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