High Court Dismisses Defendant

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The Mississippi Supreme Court ruled Thursday that the bank wasn't responsible for the death of a child in an accident caused by an employee making deliveries for The United Way.

James and Pattie Hearn sued The Commercial Bank in DeKalb, Miss., after a 2000 accident in which their daughter was killed.

According to the court record, the accident occurred while Dexter Thornton, manager of a bank branch in Meridian, was delivering a United Way pledge solicitation package to a local business.

A Lauderdale County judge declined to dismiss the bank as a defendant. The Supreme Court sided with the bank and dismissed it as a defendant.

The Hearns argued that bank was liable for Thornton's alleged negligence. Thornton and the bank claimed Thornton's activities were outside the scope of his employment.

The Supreme Court says the bank presented evidence that Thornton's solicitation for The United Way was a wholly personal errand, outside the course and scope of his employment.

The court says the Hearns offered no proof that Thornton was employed to perform deliveries for the United Way.