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Patterson v. Blair

Supreme Court of Kentucky
172 S.W.3d 361 (2005)


Tommie Lee Paterson (plaintiff) agreed to trade in his Chevy Camaro to Courtesy Autoplex (defendant) in exchange for a new GMC Jimmy. Patterson misrepresented to Courtesy the amount that he owed on the Camaro. When Courtesy discovered the extent of the debt, it unsuccessfully attempted to have the Jimmy repossessed. Resorting to self-help, two Courtesy employees, including Thomas Blair (defendant), tracked down Patterson driving the Jimmy. When Patterson stopped at a stoplight, Blair went up to the Jimmy and told him to get out. When Patterson refused, Blair took out a gun and shot out the tires of the Jimmy. Courtesy eventually recovered the Jimmy. Patterson brought suit against Blair and Courtesy, seeking to hold Courtesy vicariously liable for Blair’s reckless conduct. A jury awarded Patterson damages and found Courtesy to be vicariously liable. The court of appeals reversed, finding that Blair was not acting within the scope of his employment when he shot the tires. Patterson appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Roach, J.)

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