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No Vicarious Liability for Foster Agency for Foster Parent's Negligence, Plus Criminal Matter

By FindLaw Staff on July 08, 2010 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

US v. Mercado, No. 09-2681, concerned a challenge to the district court's denial of defendant's motion for judgment of acquittal for drug related convictions.  In affirming the conviction, the court held that there was sufficient evidence for a jury to find defendant guilty of aiding and abetting the possession with intent to distribute heroin beyond a reasonable doubt, as defendant's presence on multiple occasions during critical moments of drug transactions may, when considered in light of the totality of the circumstances, support an inference of defendant's participation in the criminal activity.

I.H. v. County of Lehigh, No. 08-2766, involved a suit against a private foster agency by a foster child, through his guardian ad litem, claiming that the agency was vicariously liable for the negligent driving of the foster parent that caused an accident rendering the child a quadriplegic.  In affirming the district court's grant of agency's motion for summary judgment, the court held that vicarious liability cannot be imposed on the agency for the foster parent's ordinary negligence at issue because a master-servant relationship did not exist between the agency and the foster parent. 

Related Resources:

  • Full text of US v. Mercado
  • Full text of I.H. v. County of Lehigh

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