Question: LaVar Johnson was a retail representative for the Wheaton Company
LaVar Johnson was a retail representative for the Wheaton Company, a processor of consumer packaged goods like cereals and canned goods. Johnson's job was to visit grocery stores in his territory to ensure that each store gave adequate shelf space to all Wheaton products sold by the store. Wheaton told Johnson that maintaining good relations with the general manager and assistant manager of each store was essential. It was important, Wheaton told him, to accommodate the managers to ensure that Wheaton got the shelf space it wanted in each store. While visiting a store in Springfield, Illinois, Johnson chatted for a few minutes with the manager, who got a phone call that his wife was in an auto accident while on her way to pick up the manager at the store. While the wife was not seriously injured, Johnson offered to take the manager to the scene of the accident, and the manager accepted. On the way to the accident scene, Johnson negligently ran a red light, resulting in his car being struck by another car. The grocery store manager received a broken leg, arm, and pelvis. Is Wheaton liable for the manager's injuries under the doctrine of respondeat superior ?
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