The California Court of Appeals recently published an opinion reversing a jury’s verdict in favor of a 14-year-old boy who was injured in a 2012 auto-pedestrian accident involving an instructor employed by the defendant who was driving home from work when the accident occurred. The lawsuit, which was originally filed against both the driver and his employer, alleged that the employer was liable for the injuries caused by the driver because he was acting within the course of his employment when the crash occurred. Although the verdict against the employer was reversed, the pretrial settlement that the plaintiff reached with the driver of the vehicle will remain in effect to help compensate him for the injuries that were suffered in the crash.
Teen Plaintiff Is Struck by Culinary Instructor as He Returns From Work
The plaintiff in the case of Jorge v. Culinary Institute of America was a boy who was 14 years old when he was struck by a vehicle while walking with his girlfriend and suffered serious injuries. The driver of the car that hit the boy was employed as an instructor at a culinary institute that was operated by the defendant, and he was returning to his home after his workday when he injured the plaintiff.
The plaintiff filed an auto-pedestrian accident claim against both the driver and his employer, arguing that the driver was returning from work “in service of the employer” when the accident occurred. After the jury found that the driver was negligent in causing the accident, his auto insurance company negotiated a $30,000 settlement with the plaintiff before the jury determined the total amount of damages to which the teen was entitled. After the partial settlement was reached, the Culinary Institute was the only remaining defendant in the case and was unable to have the claim against them dismissed.