Roberts v. State of Louisiana, Court of Appeal of LA, 1981 Was Burson acting negligently by not carrying the cane? Issue Reasoning Rule Conduct of handicapped people Facts (1) Mike Burson, a blind employee of the State who operated a concession stand and while on his way to the bathroom, bumped into P who fell to the floor and broke his hip. (2) Mike was not using a cane at the time. Mike is 26yrs, 6’ and 165 lbs while P (Roberts) is 75 yrs, 5’6” and 100 lbs. Must be reasonable in light of their knowledge of infirmity Court was convinced that Mike did not need the cane in that situation because of his good familiarity with the surrounding area having worked there for 3.5 yrs and that the special mobility training he had received. Court convinced that using facial sense in that situation was OK in light of the fact that 9/10 other blind people would do the same. Mike was not negligent in any way given his handicap: he was not walking too fast, was not not paying attention, etc. They must take precautions, be they more or less, Which the ordinary reasonable man would take if he had the same handicap. (3) he relied on facial sense which was confirmed by other witnesses as a valid method of movement under the circumstances (familiar area, short distance, busy area) (4) a plaintiff witness who is not blind and he had not conducted any study of evaluation of Mike’s mobility skills, testified that he would require a blind person to use a cane outside the concession stand. Held Procedure P argues D argues Affirmed P sued State of LA for Repondeat Superior and negligent failure to properly supervise the stand. Trial court dismissed claim. P appeals. respondeat superior. Latin for "let the master answer." A principal (employer) is responsible for the actions of his/her/its agent (employee) in the "course of employment."
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