In Giant of Maryland LLC v. Karen Webb, No. 413, Sept. Term 2019, was asked to decide whether Giant could be liable for an injury to a customer caused by a Pepsi delivery driver while stocking Pepsi products on the shelves. The Pepsi driver was not a Giant employee so the issue was whether Giant could still be liable for his negligent actions based on the level of control they had over him inside the store.
The COSA held that Giant did not have enough control to be liable for the actions of the Pepsi driver. Giant’s “general control” over the work of its product delivery drivers at the store was not enough. In order to be liable, Giant would need to have maintained control over the “operative details and methods” of the independent contractor’s work, including the “very thing from which the injury arose.”