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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. Just an aside, but regardless of the outcome, I 'm proud of Judge William Hughes. He was the original magistrate on the Home place issue. He ruled for Home Place, and was primaried by Brainard for it. Their tool Poindexter failed to unseat Hughes, who won support for his honesty and courage throughout the county, and he was reelected Judge of Hamilton County's Superior Court. You can still stand for something and survive. Thanks, Judge Hughes!

  2. CCHP's real accomplishment is the 2015 law signed by Gov Pence that basically outlaws any annexation that is forced where a 65% majority of landowners in the affected area disagree. Regardless of whether HP wins or loses, the citizens of Indiana will not have another fiasco like this. The law Gov Pence signed is a direct result of this malgovernance.

  3. I gave tempparry guardship to a friend of my granddaughter in 2012. I went to prison. I had custody. My daughter went to prison to. We are out. My daughter gave me custody but can get her back. She was not order to give me custody . but now we want granddaughter back from friend. She's 14 now. What rights do we have

  4. This sure is not what most who value good governance consider the Rule of Law to entail: "In a letter dated March 2, which Brizzi forwarded to IBJ, the commission dismissed the grievance “on grounds that there is not reasonable cause to believe that you are guilty of misconduct.”" Yet two month later reasonable cause does exist? (Or is the commission forging ahead, the need for reasonable belief be damned? -- A seeming violation of the Rules of Profession Ethics on the part of the commission) Could the rule of law theory cause one to believe that an explanation is in order? Could it be that Hoosier attorneys live under Imperial Law (which is also a t-word that rhymes with infamy) in which the Platonic guardians can do no wrong and never owe the plebeian class any explanation for their powerful actions. (Might makes it right?) Could this be a case of politics directing the commission, as celebrated IU Mauer Professor (the late) Patrick Baude warned was happening 20 years ago in his controversial (whisteblowing) ethics lecture on a quite similar topic: http://www.repository.law.indiana.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=1498&context=ilj

  5. I have a case presently pending cert review before the SCOTUS that reveals just how Indiana regulates the bar. I have been denied licensure for life for holding the wrong views and questioning the grand inquisitors as to their duties as to state and federal constitutional due process. True story: https://www.scribd.com/doc/299040839/2016Petitionforcert-to-SCOTUS Shorter, Amici brief serving to frame issue as misuse of govt licensure: https://www.scribd.com/doc/312841269/Thomas-More-Society-Amicus-Brown-v-Ind-Bd-of-Law-Examiners

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