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Court of Appeals of Georgia, Fourth Division
October 29, 2003, Decided
[*839] [**382] MILLER, Judge.
The Clo White Company appeals from the denial of its motion for summary judgment stemming from a personal injury action brought by Mary Lattimore. Lattimore was involved in a car accident with one of Clo White's employees while the employee was on his way to work. Since there was some evidence that the employee may have been on his cell phone and calling his employer's office at the time of the accident, we hold that a jury question was created as to the employer's potential liability for its employee's actions and affirm.
] On appeal from the grant or denial of a motion for summary judgment, we conduct a de novo review of the law and evidence, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the nonmovant, to determine whether a genuine issue of material fact exists and whether the moving party was entitled to judgment as a matter of law. Holbrook v. Stansell, 254 Ga. App. 553, 553-554 (562 S.E.2d 731) (2002).
So viewed, the evidence reveals that Brian Timothy Pilgrim, a shift supervisor at Clo White, [***2] was on his way to work one morning when he lost control of his car and collided with a car driven by Lattimore. The accident occurred at approximately 7:00 a.m., and cell phone records indicate that Pilgrim made three calls to his employer that morning around the time of the accident (at 7:01 a.m., 7:02 a.m., and 7:03 a.m.). Although Pilgrim did not specifically recall whether he was on the phone at the time of the accident, he admitted that he made at least one call to the office before the accident and one immediately following the accident. The purpose of at least one of the calls was to inform the night supervisor of Pilgrim's arrival time, and to obtain information that would assist Pilgrim in fulfilling his duties at the office. Pilgrim had used his cell phone on other occasions to contact his employer for work-related reasons while on his way to work, even though he was not "on the clock" and being paid for his time. Pilgrim's employer had Pilgrim's cell phone number, and could also access him 24 hours a day by paging him on a pager that the company provided. Pilgrim would often call his office in response to several pages that he received outside of his regular working hours.
[***3] Lattimore sued Clo White, arguing that Pilgrim was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Clo White at the time of [*840] the accident, and Clo White moved for summary judgment. The trial court denied Clo White's motion, prompting Clo White to appeal.
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263 Ga. App. 839 *; 590 S.E.2d 381 **; 2003 Ga. App. LEXIS 1343 ***; 2003 Fulton County D. Rep. 3240
CLO WHITE COMPANY v. LATTIMORE.
Prior History: [***1] Respondeat superior. Walton Superior Court. Before Judge Sorrells.
Disposition: Judgment affirmed.
time of an accident, servant, phone, special circumstance, master of business administration, summary judgment motion, company business, summary judgment, special mission, trial court, cell phone, conducting, morning, pages
Civil Procedure, Appeals, Summary Judgment Review, Standards of Review, Torts, Vicarious Liability, Employers, General Overview