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No vicarious liability for real estate agency

A real estate agency is not vicariously liable for a $36 million judgment entered against its affiliated broker whose car struck a German couple riding a motorcycle in Fauquier County in 2005.

Although broker Charles Ebbets was on his way from a property inspection to the Long & Foster real estate office, he was not acting as a Long & Foster employee when his Cadillac Deville struck the motorcycle carrying Josef and Doerte Hesse, the 4th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals said in an unpublished opinion released earlier this week. The panel upheld summary judgment for Long & Foster in Schwinn v. Long & Foster Real Estate Inc.
By Deborah Elkins

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