Friday, October 10, 2014

Bussard v. Minimed case brief summary

Bussard v. Minimed case brief summary

F: D’s employee (Hernandez) fell ill at work, and decided to leave work early. On her way home, Hernandez’s car hit the plaintiff. The plaintiff sued Hernandez for neg. and D under the respondent superior, alleging D was acting within the scope of her employment at the time of the accident.
D moved for SJ, arguing that Hernandez was not within the scope of her employment while commuting home. TC granted SJ

No negligence on Minimed (is there any evidence inferring that employer negligently hired pest company, or negligently sent an employee to home? -> no evidence here)

I: Whether an employee who was traveling home after being sick at work was in the course of employment which makes the employer liable for injuries caused by employee’s negligence. 

R: Yes

Under the doctrine of respondent superior, an employer is ordinarily liable for the injuries its employees caused to others in the course of their work, whether or not the employer had control over the employee

A: Employee acts necessary to the comfort, convenience, health, and welfare of the employee while at work fall within the course
of employment, traveling to and from work does not (going and coming rule). The employment relationship is suspended while the employee is away from work for purely personal reasons and without rendering services to the employer. However, when the employee endangers others during her commute and the danger is related to work, going and coming rule does not apply. Hernandez suffered pesticide exposure while at work, impairing her ability to drive. The possibility of an accident after hours of exposure to the pesticide, leaving Hernandez ill, is not so startling or unusual to bar the application of respondent superior. Hernandez illness was created by her presence at work, making her job a contributing factor to her neg. Vicarious liability does not require active neg. on the part of the defendant, so long as its employee was negligent and her work contributed to her neg.

C: reversed

Co: For within the scope of employment, but exception is going and coming rule
But, exception in going and coming rule is when employee endagers others with a risk arising fro or related to work. In determining whether such danger arises from or is related to work, apply foreseeability test

employer’s neg. irrelevant (employee’s negligence, then, consider scope of employment)

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