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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Randall Garrett and his wife Kathy Garrett appeal from a final summary judgment denying them recovery against Great Western Distributing Co. The Garretts sued Great Western, Scott Riley, Brian Williams, Douglas Dodson and others to redress injuries resulting from a fight between Randall, Riley, Williams and Dodson. The fight occurred on a Friday night in a local bar after Riley allegedly made a comment about or directed to Kathy Garrett. Randall objected to the comment, and the fight ensued. Riley, Williams and Dodson worked for Great Western at the time and had worn company uniforms and driven company cars to the bar. HOLDING:Affirmed. The Garretts pleaded that liability for their injuries should be imputed to Great Western under the theories of respondeat superior and vice-principal. Evidence of what happened immediately before the brawl commenced does not permit one to reasonably infer that Riley, Williams, and Dodson were pursuing the business of Great Western at the time or intending to pursue it. Rather, it indicates that the group engaged in the fight out of some animosity developing between Riley and the Garretts. The court cannot say that the Garretts presented more than a scintilla of evidence that the assault occurred while Riley, Williams and Dodson were within the course and scope of their employment. And, there being no evidence that they were acting within the scope of their employment, the trial court did not err in granting Great Western summary judgment on this issue. To be a vice-principal, the employee must enjoy a measure of authority sufficient to enable one to consider his acts as those of the company. Fort Worth Elevators Co. v. Russell, 123 Tex. 128 S.W.2d 397 (1934), overruled on other grounds by Wright v. Gifford – Hill & Co., 725 S.W.2d 712 (Tex. 1987). The term encompasses four classes of agents: 1. corporate officers; 2. those with authority to employ, direct, and discharge employees; 3. those engaged in the performance of non-delegable or absolute duties of the employer; and 4. those to whom an employer has confided the management of the whole business or a department or division of the business. Hammerly Oaks Inc. v. Edwards, 958 S.W.2d 387 (Tex. 1997). And, that one may fall within any of the foregoing categories does not alone permit attribution of the employee’s act to the employer for it must still be shown that the tortious act was encompassed within the duties assigned. The court finds nothing suggesting that Shellia Dobson held the post of corporate officer. Nor does any evidence of record illustrate that she performed some nondelegable or absolute duty on behalf of Great Western. So, neither of those two classes can be used to establish her as a vice-principal. Nor does the possibility that she had some authority to direct the conduct of Riley, Williams or Dodson bestow upon her the requisite status. Having some supervisory authority over others without the ability to hire and fire is not enough. Combining this ability to simply tell the three individuals what to do with her permission to write or “sign off on” certain checks, to buy general office supplies, and to sign for deliveries is still insufficient. Their totality does not reasonably permit one to infer that Great Western confided the management of the whole business or a department or division thereof to her. The last claim the court addresses concerns Great Western’s duty to supervise or control its employees. Texas recognizes a cause of action involving the negligent supervision of one’s employees. According to the Garretts, they presented sufficient evidence on each element of the chose-in-action to avoid summary judgment. The court disagrees. OPINION:Quinn, J.; Johnson, C.J., Quinn and Reavis, JJ.

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