Cruz v. LopezAnnotate this Case
At issue in this appeal was whether the statutory scheme regulating intrastate motor carriers imputes an employer-employee relationship between a general contractor and a subcontracting motor carrier’s employee for purposes of vicarious liability under respondent superior.
The employee of a registered motor carrier caused an accident while returning the motor carrier’s truck after delivering the final load of the day under a contract between the motor carrier and a general contractor, also a registered motor carrier. The representative of the injured party sued the the driver, the driver’s employer, and the general contractor. The trial court granted summary judgment for the general contractor. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the driver was not a common law employee or a statutory employee of the general contractor for purposes of vicarious liability under respondeat superior; and (2) the general contractor was not liable under any of the exceptions to a general contractor’s nonliability for the acts or omissions of an independent contractor.