A Gretna man was thrown from his go-kart while racing through a track curve and collided with the pavement. The individual claims that the vehicle he was riding in hit rocks and other debris located on the track, which caused him to be ejected at a speed which caused him significant injuries. The injured racer brought suit against NOLA Motor Club LLC, as well as others, alleging vicarious liability as well as numerous failures on the part of the company and its staff.
The root of all Louisiana liability law is the somewhat oddly phrased Article 2315 of the Civil Code. “Every act whatever of man that causes damage to another obliges him by whose fault it happened to repair it.” Essentially, this means that if you perform an act that damages someone else you are required to right those damages. However, real life is rarely so clean cut and to the point. Almost every phrase of that sentence can be muddied by circumstance. What if someone else acted with you? What if the injured person also played some part in the act? What if it is unclear whether or not it was your specific act that actually injured the person? Thus, the law had to be broken down further into neater categories.
The vicarious liability theory applicable to this go-karter’s case would be that of employer liability. Article 2320 states, albeit also somewhat antiquatedly, “Masters and employers are answerable for the damage occasioned by their servants and overseers, in the exercise of the functions in which they are employed.” As such, NOLA Motor Club is responsible for the action, or lack of actions, of their employees that cause injury to someone as long as such performance was within their normal duties as an employee. This is why it is important for companies to advise and train their employees with the greatest of care. However, sometimes even the most rigorous and stringent training cannot prevent some injuries from occurring. Even so, an employer by their very nature takes responsibility for the acts of its employees that occur during normal operations.