NEGLIGENCE-PECULIAR RISK DOCTRINE

November 4th, 2015 by Rieders Travis in Negligence

The operation of a driver dropping off a handicapped person who then has to cross the street is not considered the operation of a vehicle.  Hence the exception of vehicle liability for the Political Subdivision Act does not apply.  Also the employer which was an independent contractor is not liable under the Peculiar Risk Doctrine.  The driver was an independent contractor and the company he worked for was not responsible for hiring, training or supervision.  Under the Peculiar Risk Doctrine the question is whether the risk was foreseeable to the employer of the independent contractor at the time the contract was executed and was the risk different from the usual and ordinary risk associated from the general type of work done.  The peculiar risk must be one not created solely by the contractor’s negligence in performing the operative details of the work.  Guidelines established to independent contractors are not the type of control considered intrusive.  Phillips Ex Rel. Phillips vs. WCTA, 986 A.2d 925 (Pa. Cmwlth. 2009).