Secci v. United Independent Taxi DriversAnnotate this Case
Plaintiff was injured after a motorcycle crash with defendant Aram Tonakanian, who was driving a green and white taxi marked with United's insignia. After the jury found that Tonakanian was United's agent, but not an employee, the trial court granted United's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) under Code of Civil Procedure 629. The court reversed the trial court's order and reinstated the jury's verdict, concluding that California law does not preclude consideration of controls required by public regulations in finding an agency relationship. In this case, viewed in the light most favorable to plaintiff, the court concluded that the evidence presented at trial was sufficient to support a jury finding that Tonakanian was United's agent and United was vicariously liable for Tonakanian's acts.