Dale Sedam, Kim Sedam, and Bryan Norris, as co-personal representatives of the Estate of David C. Hamblin, deceased, Appellants (Plaintiffs below),
2JR Pizza Enterprises, LLC doing business as Pizza Hut #013413, Amanda Parker, individually and as an employee of 2JR Pizza Enterprises, LLC, and Ralph Bliton, Appellees (Defendants below).
from the Jefferson Circuit Court, No. 39C01-1209-CT-890 The
Honorable Darrell M. Auxier, Judge
Petition to Transfer from the Indiana Court of Appeals, No.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANTS Scott A. Faultless Craig Kelley
& Faultless LLC Indianapolis, Indiana Merritt K. Alcorn
Alcorn Sage Schwartz & Magrath, LLP Madison, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE INDIANA TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION
George C. Gray Nicole B. Burks Gray, Robinson, Ryan &
Fox, P.C. Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES Rodney L. Scott Tricia Kirkby Hofmann
Rebecca L. Didat Waters, Tyler, Hofmann & Scott, LLC New
Albany, Indiana Karl L. Mulvaney Jessica Whelan Bingham
Greenebaum Doll LLP Indianapolis, Indiana
ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE DEFENSE TRIAL COUNSEL OF INDIANA
Lucy R. Dollens Quarles & Brady, LLP Indianapolis,
Indiana Crystal G. Rowe Kightlinger & Gray, LLP New
ATTORNEYS FOR AMICUS CURIAE INDIANA LEGAL FOUNDATION INC.
Julia Blackwell Gelinas Maggie L. Smith Frost Brown Todd LLC
than forty years ago, our Court of Appeals decided
Tindall v. Enderle, 162 Ind.App. 524, 320 N.E.2d 764
(1974), and today we reaffirm its holding. When an employer
admits that an employee was acting within the course and
scope of his or her employment, the employer may only be held
liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior,
and thus the plaintiff is precluded from also bringing a
negligent hiring claim in most circumstances. We therefore
affirm the trial court's partial grant of summary
judgment for Pizza Hut, allowing only the negligence claim
under the doctrine of respondeat superior to
and Procedural History
August 24, 2012, Amanda Parker was delivering pizzas as a
driver for 2JR Pizza Enterprises, LLC ("Pizza
Hut"). While she was driving, her Dodge Stratus collided
with the back of a scooter operated by David Hamblin. As a
result, Hamblin was tossed onto the road and was run over and
killed by another motorist, Ralph Bliton.
Estate then filed a wrongful death suit against
Parker, Bliton, and Pizza Hut. The Estate alleged
Hamblin's death was directly and proximately caused by
Pizza Hut's negligent hiring, training, and/or
supervision of Parker; Parker's negligent operation of
her car; and that Pizza Hut was liable for Parker's
negligence under the doctrine of respondeat
superior. Pizza Hut moved for partial summary judgment,
claiming that since it admitted Parker was acting within the
course and scope of her employment, it could only be held
liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
The trial court agreed and granted partial summary judgment
dismissing the Estate's negligent hiring, training,
and/or supervision claim. Pursuant to Trial Rule 54(B), the
trial court entered final judgment, and the Estate appealed.
Court of Appeals reversed and remanded. After comparing
Broadstreet v. Hall, 168 Ind. 192, 80 N.E. 145
(1907), and Tindall v. Enderle, 162 Ind.App. 524,
320 N.E.2d 764 (1974), the panel found Tindall had
improperly distinguished Broadstreet, and thus
Broadstreet was controlling. Sedam v. 2JR Pizza
Enterprises, LLC, 61 N.E.3d 1191, 1195-98 (Ind.Ct.App.
2016). Therefore, the court concluded that the Estate could
pursue both theories of recovery because the claims are
"separate torts that are not derivative of the
employee's negligence[.]" Id. at 1196.
Moreover, the panel reasoned this outcome was more consistent
with Indiana's Comparative Fault Act, enacted after
Broadstreet and Tindall, and the
Restatement (Third) of Agency. Id. at 1197-98.
Hut petitioned for transfer, which we granted, thereby
vacating the Court of Appeals ...