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A Louisiana appellate court affirmed summary judgment in favor of a defendant employer whose employee rear-ended a van, killing the van’s driver and causing catastrophic injuries to the plaintiff who was a passenger in the van. At the time of the accident, the employee was driving from a job site in Texas to his home in Florida. The plaintiff contended the employer reimbursed the employee for travel expenses associated with the travel and that accordingly the employee was within the course and scope of the employment during the travel time. The defendant presented evidence that while the employee received two bonuses—$250 on signing and an equal amount upon “completion” of the job—the employee had not been paid specifically for travel. The appellate court indicated that the so-called travel expenses did not place the employee in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The court stressed that the job had been completed. The employee was more than 600 miles away from the job site in Texas. The employer exercised no control over the employee. There was no basis for imposing vicarious liability for the employee’s actions upon the defendant employer.
Thomas A. Robinson, J.D., the Feature National Columnist for the LexisNexis Workers’ Compensation eNewsletter, is the co-author of Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law (LexisNexis).
LexisNexis Online Subscribers: Citations below link to Lexis Advance. Bracketed citations link to lexis.com.
See Winzer v. Richards, 50,330 (La.App. 2 Cir. 01/13/16), 2016 La. App. LEXIS 39 (Jan. 13, 2016) [50,330 (La.App. 2 Cir. 01/13/16), 2016 La. App. LEXIS 39 (Jan. 13, 2016)]
See generally Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, § 15.05 [15.05]
Source: Larson’s Workers’ Compensation Law, the nation’s leading authority on workers’ compensation law.
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