California: “Required Vehicle” Exception to Going and Coming Rule May Be Utilized in 3rd Party’s Negligence Action Against Employer

California: “Required Vehicle” Exception to Going and Coming Rule May Be Utilized in 3rd Party’s Negligence Action Against Employer

Under California’s “required vehicle” exception to the going and coming rule, injuries sustained during the commute are said to arise out of and in the course of the employment if the employer required the employee to utilize her personal vehicle to get to work and back home in order that the employee might also be able to make other work-related trips during the day.  Compensability of such injuries would otherwise generally be excluded from workers’ compensation coverage under the going and coming rule.  A California appellate court recently held that the required vehicle exception can be utilized within the tort arena as well where the plaintiff, a motorcyclist, contended that the defendant company should be held liable, on respondeat superior grounds, for injuries caused by a commuting employee who was required to drive her personal vehicle to and from work each day so as to be available to call on customers. The trial court granted the defendant's motion for summary judgment on the ground that its employee was not acting within the scope of her employment when she was making a left turn to get to a frozen yogurt shop.  The appellate court reversed, finding that planned stops for frozen yogurt and a yoga class on the way home did not change the incidental benefit to the employer of having the employee use her personal vehicle to travel to and from the office and other destinations.

Reported by Thomas A. Robinson, J.D.

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See Moradi v. Marsh USA, Inc., 2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 736 (Sept. 17, 2013) [2013 Cal. App. LEXIS 736 (Sept. 17, 2013)]

See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 14.01 [14.01]

Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.

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