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Wood Pontiac Cadillac v. Superior Court

Court of Appeal of California, First Appellate District, Division Four

April 21, 1992, Decided

No. A056963


 [*811]  [**925]   Petitioners Wood Pontiac Cadillac and Estate of James Arthur Bianchi, Deceased, are two of the defendants in an action filed by Sandra Grado and Arthur Grado, arising from personal injuries suffered by Sandra Grado, an employee of petitioner Wood Pontiac Cadillac. In their answer to the complaint, petitioners asserted as an affirmative defense that the action is barred by the exclusive remedy of workers' compensation. Sandra Grado (hereinafter real party) filed a motion for summary adjudication of issues asserting that she was not in the course and scope of her employment [***2]  when she was injured. Respondent court agreed and granted the motion for summary adjudication. Petitioners have timely filed the instant petition challenging that decision. ( Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (a).)

 [*812]  FACTS

There is no dispute as to the relevant facts. On January 2, 1990, real party was finance and insurance manager for Wood Pontiac Cadillac. She was paid a percentage of the gross her department produced plus "she earned some flat fees on different insurance policies that she would sell on an individual basis." She was also provided with an automobile and received other fringe benefits such as health insurance and pension or profit sharing.

Real party worked a regular schedule of days from 10:30 a.m. until closing time. She had no regularly scheduled lunch break but would take the break when the press of business permitted. Ordinarily, the employees would not have time to go to a restaurant to eat but would run out and bring food back. On January 2, 1990, she went with her supervisor, Arthur Bianchi, to pick up lunch and bring it back to the car dealership to eat. They went in a car owned by Wood Pontiac and Bianchi drove. On the way, the car was involved [***3]  in an intersection accident with another car. Bianchi was killed and real party and the driver of the other car were injured.

In granting the motion for summary adjudication, respondent court held that "workers' compensation is not plaintiff's exclusive remedy because: [P] Plaintiff Sandra Grado was injured during an uncompensated lunch break off the premises of her employer."

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5 Cal. App. 4th 810 *; 6 Cal. Rptr. 2d 924 **; 1992 Cal. App. LEXIS 519 ***; 92 Cal. Daily Op. Service 3420; 92 Daily Journal DAR 5305; 57 Cal. Comp. Cases 270

WOOD PONTIAC CADILLAC et al., Petitioners, v. THE SUPERIOR COURT OF SONOMA COUNTY, Respondent; SANDRA GRADO, Real Party in Interest.

Subsequent History:  [***1]   Review Denied July 9, 1992, Reported at 1992 Cal. LEXIS 3517.

Prior History: Superior Court of Sonoma County, Nos. 181752 and 183030, Arnold D. Rosenfield, Judge.

Disposition: Let a peremptory writ of mandate issue directing the superior court to vacate its order granting the motion for summary adjudication and to enter a new order denying the motion.


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Workers' Compensation & SSDI, Compensability, Injuries, Accidental Injuries, Exclusivity, Exclusivity, General Overview, Course of Employment, Place & Time, Going & Coming Rule, Activities Related to Employment, Personal Comfort Doctrine