Newland v. County of Los AngelesAnnotate this Case
An employee must be driving a personal vehicle in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident to extend vicarious liability to an employer. Liability may be imposed on an employer for an employee's tortious conduct while driving to or from work, if at the time of the accident, the employee's use of a personal vehicle was required by the employer or otherwise provided a benefit to the employer. The Court of Appeal reversed the trial court's judgment imposing liability on the employer in an action where an employee driving home from work on a day that he did not have any job duties outside of the office injured a third party. The court held that the evidence showed that the employee in this case was driving a routine commute to and from work on the day of the accident, and he was not required to use his personal vehicle for work purposes that day. Furthermore, the employer did not otherwise benefit from his use of a personal vehicle that day. Therefore, the employer was entitled to judgment as a matter of law.