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Employee's auto accident on way home from business meeting not company's fault

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A company whose employee hit and killed another motorist after having dinner and drinks with a client is not liable because the employee was “going and coming” from work when the tragedy occurred, the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled.

Curt Carlson, an employee of Seven Corners, caused the accident on his way home after an evening of dinner and drinks with a company client. Eboni Dodson’s estate argued Carlson was acting within the scope of his employment when he struck Dodson and, therefore, Seven Corners is liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.

The trial court disagreed and granted summary judgment for Seven Corners on the estate's claims of wrongful death and negligence. The Indiana Court of Appeals affirmed in Phyllis Dodson, as Special Administrator of the Estate of Eboni Dodson, Deceased v. Curt D. Carlosn, Carmel Hotel Company, d/b/a/ Grille 39, Seven Corners, Inc., et al., 49A04-1305-CT-267.

Pointing to the “going and coming” exception to the respondeat superior doctrine, the Court of Appeals found that driving to his house after the business dinner was not part of Carlson’s normal job duties. The COA agreed with Seven Corners that Carlson was on personal time when the accident occurred.   

“…there is no evidence in the case before us that (Carlson) was, at the time of the accident, in any way ‘engaged in a task incidental to his everyday employment,’” Judge Melissa May wrote for the court. “Rather, he had completed all tasks incident to his employment and was going home.”

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  1. Im very happy for you, getting ready to go down that dirt road myself, and im praying for the same outcome, because it IS sometimes in the childs best interest to have visitation with grandparents. Thanks for sharing, needed to hear some positive posts for once.

  2. Been there 4 months with 1 paycheck what can i do

  3. our hoa has not communicated any thing that takes place in their "executive meetings" not executive session. They make decisions in these meetings, do not have an agenda, do not notify association memebers and do not keep general meetings minutes. They do not communicate info of any kind to the member, except annual meeting, nobody attends or votes because they think the board is self serving. They keep a deposit fee from club house rental for inspection after someone uses it, there is no inspection I know becausee I rented it, they did not disclose to members that board memebers would be keeping this money, I know it is only 10 dollars but still it is not their money, they hire from within the board for paid positions, no advertising and no request for bids from anyone else, I atteended last annual meeting, went into executive session to elect officers in that session the president brought up the motion to give the secretary a raise of course they all agreed they hired her in, then the minutes stated that a diffeerent board member motioned to give this raise. This board is very clickish and has done things anyway they pleased for over 5 years, what recourse to members have to make changes in the boards conduct

  4. Where may I find an attorney working Pro Bono? Many issues with divorce, my Disability, distribution of IRA's, property, money's and pressured into agreement by my attorney. Leaving me far less than 5% of all after 15 years of marriage. No money to appeal, disabled living on disability income. Attorney's decision brought forward to judge, no evidence ever to finalize divorce. Just 2 weeks ago. Please help.

  5. For the record no one could answer the equal protection / substantive due process challenge I issued in the first post below. The lawless and accountable only to power bureaucrats never did either. All who interface with the Indiana law examiners or JLAP be warned.

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