An Example of Agency and Liability (Illinois)

By Matthew A. Quick The court in Sperl v C.H. Robinson Worldwide found that a principal-agent relationship existed between Defendant company and truck driver, as company owned the load of potatoes driver was hauling, and controlled method of payment and manner of driver's work performance, including imposition of fines if driver did not arrive at company's warehouse within certain time. With the court's finding of an agency relationship, the company was entirely liable for the driver's negligent conduct.

This case, among the many others, highlights the importance keeping people and entities, and their respective practices, completely separate, whether it is by separating control, accounting, etc. The liability protections built around a business can be rendered worthless if steps are not taken to ensure formalities are being followed.