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Taber v. Maine

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
67 F.3d 1029 (1995)


Facts

Robert Maine (defendant) was a Navy serviceman stationed in Guam. On April 13, 1985, after a 24-hour shift, he was on liberty to do as he pleased, including travel off base. Maine spent much of the day drinking with fellow service members at various locations on the base. When he returned to his barracks around 11:00 p.m., he appeared to be drunk. A half hour later, Maine decided to drive off base to find something to eat. He ended up crashing into a vehicle carrying Scott Taber (plaintiff), who was severely injured. Taber was a Navy construction worker who, like Maine, was on liberty that day. Taber sued Maine and the United States (defendant) in a federal district court in New York, asserting liability under the Federal Tort Claims Act and, with respect to the government, liability under the theory of respondeat superior. The court granted summary judgment to the government on the ground that respondeat superior was inapplicable because Maine’s misconduct was not effected in the line of duty. After a bench trial, Maine was adjudged liable for negligence. Taber appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Calabresi, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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