Vanderbilt Law Review

First Page



Scope of Employment: In the case of McKinnon v. Michaud,- it appeared that Mrs. McKinnon was in the business of distributing petroleum products wholesale. Her servant, Nickson, made delivery of gasoline to a service station, put the nozzle from his truck into the retailer's tank and then carelessly allowed the tank to overflow. Nickson then enhanced the danger by throwing water on the gasoline with the result that it splashed onto an open stove and caused an extensive fire that damaged the plaintiff. Mrs. McKinnon was held liable. The court did not decide whether Nickson's act of throwing water on the gasoline was or was not within the scope of his employment. His carelessness in allowing the tank to overflow was taken to be the primary and proximate cause of the injury. That act was clearly within the scope of Nickson's employment.