Jorge v. Culinary Institute of America

Employer was entitled to judgment NOV in a negligence case brought against a plaintiff injured by employee’s negligent driving of his own car on his way home from work, since the employee’s commute was subject to the “going and coming rule.”  Trial court erred in denying employer judgment NOV in this personal injury action caused by an employee’s negligent driving of his own car on the way home from work.  The going and coming rule applied to avoid application of respondeat superior liability on the employer.  There was no substantial evidence to support a finding that the accident fell within the “required vehicle” exception to the going and coming rule.  There was no evidence that the employer expressly required the employee to drive his car to work.  The employee was not paid for his commute time, nor did he use the car when he worked on site at the employer’s workplace.  When he went to offsite conferences and the like, he used the car only to get there and back and could have used any other mode of transportation instead.  There was no evidence the employee needed the car to run errands for the employer during the work day.  The required vehicle exception was not invoked by the fact that the employee carried his tools of the trade to and from work in his car or that the employer reimbursed him for travel by car to and from the airport when he had to go out of town on work.

California Court of Appeal, First District, Division 2 (Richman, Acting P.J.); September 16, 2016; 2016 WL 4938798

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