The Firm obtains summary judgment in favor of employer who was sued for
personal injuries allegedly caused by one of its employees while driving
his own car to get food.
Even though summary judgment is rarely granted in negligence cases in Florida,
Rosenthal Law Group has once again successfully obtained a summary judgment
in its favor on behalf of its client, Park One of Florida, LLC, in a lawsuit
filed by an individual who alleged he was injured in a motor vehicle accident
with one of Park One’s employees who was driving in his own vehicle
for the purpose of obtaining a meal for himself at the time of the collision.
Rosenthal Law Group argued that the asserted claim against Park One was
without merit in the law and that Park One should not be denied its rightful
exit from this lawsuit.
In this case, the plaintiff alleged that the employee, a valet parking
attendant, was employed to drive vehicles and that because he was “driving”
a vehicle at the time of the accident, Park One was liable for the injuries
allegedly caused by the employee. Thus, despite the fact that the employee
was driving his own vehicle (something he didn’t do as part of his
job functions), left his work location to get food for himself, and was
½ mile away from his work location on a public street when he was
involved in a vehicle accident, plaintiff nevertheless sued Park One for
vicarious liability for its employee’s alleged negligence.
Miami-Dade Circuit Court Judge Mavel Ruiz presided over a lengthy summary
judgment hearing which was thoroughly briefed by the parties and considered
the deposition testimony of multiple witnesses and ruled that, under well-established
Florida law, in order for Park One to be held liable for the acts of its
employee, the plaintiff was required to prove:
* the employee’s alleged negligent conduct was of the kind that he
was hired to perform;
* the employee’s alleged negligent conduct occurred substantially
within the time and space limits authorized or required by the work to
be performed; and
* the employee’s alleged negligent conduct was activated at least
in part by a purpose to serve the employer.
Because the undisputed evidence showed that the employee was never hired
to drive his own vehicle to do any job functions for Park One, because
the accident occurred approximately ½ mile away from the employee’s
job location, and because the employee’s negligent conduct was not
at all activated for any purpose to serve Park One, the Court held that
summary judgment was proper in Park One’s favor.
Post-trial motions for attorneys’ fees and Motions for Sanctions
for filing a lawsuit against Park One that had no basis in law or fact
are pending before the Court.
Park One was represented by attorneys, Alex Rosenthal and Amanda Jones.