Many people on-the-job are also on the roads each day. If those workers are involved in an accident, there may be grounds to hold the employer accountable. The worker could seek workers’ compensation insurance and, if the worker was at-fault, the other driver could pursue a claim of vicarious liability against the employer. However, in order for either of those claims to stick, there has to be proof the worker was acting in the course and scope of employment.
The legal theory under which an employer can be held liable is called respondeat superior, or “Let the Master Answer.” However, there are all sorts of legal exceptions, such as the “coming-and-going rule” (employees aren’t covered while commuting to-and-from work) and others.
In the recent case of Jorge v. Culinary Inst. of Am., the California Court of Appeal for the First Appellate District, Division Two, reversed an earlier jury trial finding awarding damages to a man injured when he was struck by a car driven by a chef instructor employed by defendant. The appellate court ruled the coming-and-going rule was applicable because as a chef instructor, defendant driver didn’t take his work home with him so the coming-and-going rule applied. Continue reading