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RICHARD CARROLL III Plaintiff-Appellant
vs.
FEDERAL EXPRESS CORPORATION a Delaware corporation Defendant-Appellee.


Click Here to Read the Full Case Summary
 
Issues:
Random drug testing, employer's liability, cocaine, evidence, due process.
 
Case Summary:
Richard Carroll, a former courier for the Federal Express Corporation, appeals a lower court's ruling concerning his suit against his former employer. Federal Express dismissed Carroll after he posted a positive result for cocaine in a random drug test. Options and Choices, a third-party administrator performed the test for Federal Express. Carroll said he never used cocaine and that the positive test result is attributable to chain-of-custody violations committed by OAC. Carroll asserted that Federal Express was indirectly liable for OAC's violations and directly responsible for a breech of the covenant of good faith. Federal Express responded with a motion for summary judgment.
 
Decision of lower jurisdiction:
A federal district court granted the company's motion for summary judgment. The court ruled that Federal Express could not be held liable for the actions of an independent contractor. The court noted that Federal Express' decision to delegate responsibility for administering the test was allowable under law. Carroll now appeals.
 
Outcome:
Carroll loses. The United State Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit affirmed the ruling of the lower jurisdiction. The court noted that Carroll might have an actual cause for action concerning the chain of custody issue, but it was not against Federal Express.