Arguello v. Conoco, Inc.

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Arguello v. Conoco, Inc.


Several different customers entered Conoco gas stations and were verbally assaulted with racial epithets. Others were not allowed to purchase things at a Conoco gas station.

Procedural History

District Ct. issued an order dismissing all claims, and later granted SJ to Conoco. D. Ct. found no agency relationship between Conoco and the Conoco-branded stores, and b/c the employees acted outside the scope of their employment.


Agency relationship: P: All Conocos enter into a "Petroleum Marketing Agreement" with Conoco Inc. The PMA dictates actions of the stations, such as courteous treatment of customers. Conoco inspects the stations to determine if the stations comply with the PMA. Scope of employment: D: Clerk's actions were motivated by person prejudices and so were out of scope of employment.


No agency relationship exists.




Conoco Inc. does not control daily operation of the gas stations. (PMA is mostly looked at as a set of guidelines)