In Georgia personal injury cases, vicarious liability laws establish that an employer could be liable for the acts of its employees if the employee causes injury to another while working within the scope of the business. The employer is liable when the employee was serving the employer’s interests in furtherance of the employer’s business and within the scope of his employment.
In a recent Court of Appeals of Georgia case, the court considered a vicarious liability claim. According to the court’s opinion, the defendant worked at the grill for a local deli and assisted with catering deliveries. If the defendant were scheduled to make one or more deliveries, he would get to work early to prepare the grill before making the delivery with his own car. Because the defendant was an hourly employee, he was only paid when he was clocked in, and often had to seek permission to come in early to make a delivery. When the defendant made a delivery, the employer would cover the cost of gas, in addition to paying the defendant his regular hourly wage.
On the day of the accident, the defendant was called in to make a catering delivery despite a local state of emergency due to a winter storm. On his way to prepare the grill before taking the delivery, the defendant lost control of his car and crashed into a vehicle that was parked on the road’s shoulder, killing his brother-in-law as well as another man.