the acts of a careless, disobedient or quarrelsome employee. But as noted by our Appeals Court "if the departure from the employer's business is of a marked and decided character the decision of the question may be within the province of the court." Grimes v. B. F. Saul Co., 60 App.D.C. 47, 47 F.2d 409, 410 (1931). The nature of the assault in the present case is quite remote from actions of a sort which an employer should reasonably expect and appears to be clearly outside the field of allocable risks.
In Grimes a janitor's wife was assaulted indecently by an inspector employed by the management company. The man gained entrance to the building on the pretext of making inspections. The assault was held outside the scope of employment as a matter of law. Similar results were reached where a grocery deliveryman assaulted a housewife. Fleming v. Bronfin, 80 A.2d 915, 917 (D.C.Mun.App.1951). In City of Green Cove Springs v. Donaldson, 348 F.2d 197 (5th Cir. 1965), the court found it outside the scope of employment, as a matter of law, when a city policeman raped a detainee in a city police car, and a Texas District Court held that, as a matter of law, a school administrator's improper advances towards a teacher seeking extension of employment were outside the scope of employment. Cochran v. Odell, 334 F. Supp. 555, 556 (N.D.Tex.1971).
The cases upon which plaintiff relies are as remote from the situation in this case as that of the gardener with the stick is from the gardener with the gun. In each the assault grew out of a situation which was part of the work responsibility of the employee or was committed with an instrumentality furnished by the employer, or came about in a readily foreseeable way. A finding in the instant case that the employee's behavior was within the scope of employment would be an imposition of a duty of strict liability on these employers akin to that imposed on common carriers. As such it would be a substantial alteration in the doctrine of respondeat superior with concomitant legal and economic repercussions.
This Court does indeed have great sympathy for the plaintiff and it is with reluctance that this conclusion is is reached for she is left without any redress for an injury which has left permanent physical and psychological scars.
Accordingly, this 20th day of June, 1974, the Court grants the motion of the defendants that the verdict of the jury in this action be, and hereby is, set aside; judgment is entered for the defendants and this cause is dismissed.