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Respondeat Superior

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Silver, a Hollywood executive, took his chef and an executive assistant, Musgrove, with his family for their vacation on Bora Bora.  The chef met Musgrove after hours and gave her alcohol and cocaine, after which she went swimming and drowned.  This decision holds that Silver is not vicariously liable for the chef's after hours activities with Musgrove under any of… Read More

Distinguishing and disagreeing with Henriksen v. City of Rialto (1993) 20 Cal.App.4th 1612, this decision holds that the City is vicariously liable under respondeat superior for the negligence of one of its police officers in fail to secure a Police Department-approved, secondary firearm upon returning home from work.  The policeman left the gun, unlocked, in his car when he returned… Read More

A corporation can be held liable under the respondeat superior doctrine for loss and fire suppression costs caused by the corporation's employee's negligent acts in starting a wildfire.  Neither the statutory language nor the legislative history of Health & Safety Code 13009 and 13009.1, which allow the state to recover for wildfire suppression costs and wildfire damage to public property… Read More

The going-and-coming rule might not bar a claim against at-fault driver’s employer; though the driver was on a personal mission, the employer allegedly required him to drive a company truck at all times. Read More

Plaintiff may succeed on a negligent hiring and supervision theory by alleging that an employer’s negligent hiring of employee put him in a position to commit wrongful acts outside the scope of his employment which he would not otherwise have been able to commit, even if the harm was not committed in the course and scope of employment. Read More

The required vehicle exception to the going and coming rule did not apply to a public defender’s drive home from work on a day he did not need the car for work, so his employer, the county, was not liable for the accident on the drive home. Read More

The going-and-coming exception to respondeat superior absolved defendant from liability for injuries from car crash caused by employee who was offered free bus transportation to job site but elected to drive, and who was not on the clock during the car journey.  Read More

In determining whether the defendant exercised sufficient control to make the tortfeasor the defendant’s agent for purposes of respondeat superior, the jury may properly consider the degree of control which public regulations require the defendant to exercise over the tortfeasor.  Read More

A hospital could not be held liable for a doctor’s malpractice on a respondeat superior theory when the hospital’s conditions of admission, which the patient signed many times in non-emergency situations, clearly disclosed that all doctors who treated patients at the hospital acted as independent contractors.  Read More