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Legal Memorandum: Accidents within the Scope of Employment

Issue: Whether an employee working on location at a jobsite other than his ordinary workplace has been found in the scope of employment when he causes a motor vehicle accident on his return trip, specifically when an employer knowingly reimburses an employee traveling from an out-of-town work assignment to a relative’s home.

Area of Law: Employee Law, Workers Compensation Insurance
Keywords: Scope of employment; Motor vehicle accident; Out-of-town work assignment
Jurisdiction: Federal, Georgia
Cited Cases: 70 A.D.2d 755; 373 S.E.2d 649; 506 P.2d 486; 583 S.W.2d 273; 170 Cal. App. 3d 1247; 634 S.E.2d 153; 524 P.2d 951; 616 P.2d 726; 93 P.3d 1001
Cited Statutes: None
Date: 06/01/2008

Thompson v. Club Group, Ltd., 553 S.E.2d 842 (Ga. Ct. App. 2001) (Employee’s trip to pick up his personal pay check was considered a “special errand” considering that employer paid his round-trip mileage and employee also picked up and delivered employer’s business documents.).

International Bus. Machines, Inc. v. Bozardt, 275 S.E.2d 376 (Ga. Ct. App. 1980) (New York resident who was in Atlanta for several days on business was in the scope of employment when he caused an accident in the rental car paid for by the employer over a meal period.).

Lewis v. Miller Peanut Co., 49 S.E.2d 221 (Ga. Ct. App. 1948) (Employee who lived in one town and worked in another was in the scope of employment during his travel between both towns because “the employment being general in its nature, and included the time consumed in travel between [the two towns], for which time said employee received compensation as well as traveling expenses from the defendant,” it was the employee’s “privilege and duty” to make the trips from his home to the work location.).

Gordy Constr. Co. v. Stewart, 456 S.E.2d 245 (Ga. Ct. App. 1995) (Employee was in the scope of employment when he “was in Georgia away from his home in Alabama at the express direction of Gordy at Gordy’s expense, the truck was the only vehicle available to [the employee] in Georgia, he was lodging in a motel and he was returning to the motel from a meal at […]

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