The special-errand exception to the going-and-coming rule is stated as follows: If the employee is not simply on his way from his home to his normal place of work or returning from said place to his home for his own purpose, but is coming from his home or returning to it on a special errand either as part of his regular duties or at a specific order or request of his employer, the employee is considered to be in the scope of his employment from the time that he starts on the errand until he has returned or until he deviates therefrom for personal reasons.
Plaintiff parents brought suit against defendant employer for injuries that their minor child sustained when defendant's employee hit the child after running an errand for the employer. The trial court granted defendant's motion for summary judgment based on the finding that the employee was outside the scope of employment when he was involved in the accident; therefore, defendant was not responsible. The court affirmed the summary judgment.
Was defendant employee acting within the scope of employment when the accident took place?
The evidence established that when defendant completed the errand for the employer, he proceeded to meet his parents, and these acts constituted a complete abandonment of his employer's business. After abandoning his employer's business, the employee was no longer acting within the scope of employment and defendant could not be held liable for the acts of the employee under the theory of respondeat superior.