Interesting CPA exam question (Firearm Related!)

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Came across this quesiton while studying tonight...

Pine, an employee of Global Messenger Co., was hired to deliver highly secret corporate documents for Global's clients throughout the world. Unknown to Global, Pine carried a concealed pistol. While Pine was making a delivery, he suspected an attempt was being made to steal the package, drew his gun and shot Kent, an innocent passerby. Kent will not recover damages from Global if:

a. Global discovered that Pine carried a weapon and did nothing about it.

b. Global instructed its messengers not to carry weapons.
c. Pine was correct and an attempt was being made to steal the package.
d. Pine's weapon was unlicensed and illegal.




The answer is D.


Full answer:
Choice "d" is correct. Generally, an employer is not liable in tort for an employee's conduct that constitutes a crime unless the employer authorized the act. Thus, Global would not be liable if Pine was carrying an unlicensed, illegal gun and shot Kent with it.
Choices "a", "b", and "c" are incorrect, because under the doctrine of respondent superior, a principal can be liable for an agent's torts that were committed within the scope of the employment. The tort need not have been specifically authorized; the employer can be liable for acts incident to the conduct the employee was hired to perform that are actuated by a desire to serve the employer. Obviously, failing to do anything about Pine's carrying a gun does nothing to help Global. Thus, choice "a" is incorrect. Instructing messengers not to carry guns helps some, but it still does not negate the two requirements (an act incident to the employment actuated by an intent to serve the employer), thus choice "b" is incorrect. Pine's motivation for negligently shooting Kent also is irrelevant. Thus, choice "c" is incorrect.



So this is probably another why employers dont want employees to carry, since they CAN be liable if someone shot someone.
And this guy is probably gonna go to jail and lose his LTC-A for life...
 

doobie

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Please, Kent wasn't innocent. He was trying to steal the package, they just couldn't prove it because his accomplices didn't stick around.
 
M

MACGYVR

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Yea I think a firm would rather pay for an armed security guard to accompnay him on the delivery of docs so the risk is redirected to the security company away from the firm.
 

jcr

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In the case of Pizza Delivery rather than Global Messenger, the pizza restaurant's message to its deliverymen is "if you feel you must carry a gun for protection, PLEASE do it IL-legally so that we won't be liable."

Something has gone wrong with the law here.

[CPA is usually recognized as Certified Public Accountant. I guess it is not that here, because this is a wierd question for accountants.]
 
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Yeah, I'm not really sure what this thread is about. To the OP, are you saying this is a test question from a past CPA exam which accounts for the academic portion of the Certified Public Accountant Designation? It doesn't sound like a relevant practice question (although the backwards wording does) but perhaps you're thinking of "CPA" as an acronym for something else entirely.

(FYI-all there is a practical experience requirement of 2+ years as an employed tax professional that, accompanied by a lengthy (multi-day) exam, forms the basis for the CPA professional designation.)
 

Scrivener

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I find it hard to believe that a CPA exam would contain a question regarding liability under respondeat superior , still less one involving criminal charges.
 
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Yeah, I'm not really sure what this thread is about. To the OP, are you saying this is a test question from a past CPA exam which accounts for the academic portion of the Certified Public Accountant Designation? It doesn't sound like a relevant practice question (although the backwards wording does) but perhaps you're thinking of "CPA" as an acronym for something else entirely.

(FYI-all there is a practical experience requirement of 2+ years as an employed tax professional that, accompanied by a lengthy (multi-day) exam, forms the basis for the CPA professional designation.)
Yes, this is an actual practice question for the certified public accoutnant exam. This may have been on the actual exam in the past.

The exam isnt multi day anymore, there are four sections now where you must pass all four within 18 months. You may take the exam in any 9 months during the year. You may not take a failed section in the same quarter though..
 
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Huh? Knock me over with a feather...

What is this question actually testing?
Testing to see if you know that "Generally, an employer is not liable in tort for an employee's conduct that constitutes a crime unless the employer authorized the act."...

this is part of the Regulation section of the exam (corp/partnership and individual taxation, ethics, laws...etc)
 
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Well, the obvious logical answer for this situation is for Global to provide appropriate firearms and training for their couriers so as to avoid the whole situation to begin with.
 
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