In re FerrerAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff Jessica Ferrer and her companion, Kathryn Winslow, were injured when a taxicab driven by Tesfamariam Okbamicael struck them as they crossed a street in Denver. Okbamicael worked for Colorado Cab Company (“Yellow Cab”), which owned the taxicab. Ferrer brought this suit against Okbamicael and Yellow Cab (collectively, “Defendants”), alleging that Okbamicael was negligent and that Yellow Cab was vicariously liable for his negligence under the doctrine of respondeat superior. Ferrer also alleged that Yellow Cab was liable for her injuries suffered in the collision under theories of direct negligence (negligence as a common carrier) and negligent entrustment, hiring, supervision, and training. In an amended answer to the complaint, Yellow Cab admitted that Okbamicael was an employee acting within the course and scope of his employment with Yellow Cab at the time of the accident. Defendants then moved for partial judgment on the pleadings, seeking to dismiss Ferrer’s direct negligence claims against Yellow Cab. The trial court granted Defendants’ motion, applying the rule from “McHaffie v. Bunch,” (891 S.W.2d 822 (Mo. 1995)), that an employer’s admission of vicarious liability for an employee’s negligence bars a plaintiff’s direct negligence claims against the employer. Agreeing with the trial court’s application of the “McHaffie” rule, the Supreme Court affirmed.