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LeBrane v. Lewis

292 So. 2d 216 (1974)

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LeBrane v. Lewis

Louisiana Supreme Court

292 So. 2d 216 (1974)

Facts

Charles LeBrane (plaintiff) worked in the kitchen of the Capitol House Hotel (the hotel) (defendant). James Lewis (defendant), the kitchen steward, was LeBrane’s supervisor. On a day when LeBrane arrived late to work, Lewis told him to take the rest of the day off and go get a haircut. Despite several warnings, LeBrane refused to leave. Lewis, who had hiring and firing authority, fired LeBrane, and the two proceeded to the hotel manager’s office. In the elevator on the way down, LeBrane and Lewis got into a heated argument and invited each other outside to fight. LeBrane and Lewis started fighting in the hotel basement, and Lewis stabbed LeBrane as LeBrane tried to run away. LeBrane brought a tort action for damages against Lewis and the hotel. The trial court dismissed LeBrane’s tort claim against the hotel. The court of appeal affirmed, holding that when LeBrane and Lewis reached the basement, the argument had become purely personal and therefore the stabbing did not occur within the scope of Lewis’s employment. The state supreme court granted review.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Tate, J.)

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