Is a Company Liable if Their Employee Drinks and Drivers on Company Time?While it’s not always true, in some instances a California employer may be held liable if their employee gets intoxicated and causes a car accident. If you were injured in this type of accident, then you may be able to hold the employer liable under what’s known as “vicarious liability.” One case out of Los Angeles does a good job showing this principle.

Read on to learn more but don’t forget that if you were injured, you have a right to a free legal consultation from Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas. All you need to do is call us at 909-982-0707 for more information. We are here to help you understand all your legal options so you can make the most informed decision.

The facts behind the case in question

The case we’re discussing today is George v. Firstservice Residential and it was heard before the Los Angeles Superior Court. In it, a man suffered a catastrophic injury by an employee of Firstservice Residential. The driver, Mr. Sandman, was the manager of the company. He was driving the victim home after they left a pub together. Both men had been drinking. On the way to the victim’s home, Mr. Sandman hit a vehicle and Mr. George was seriously hurt. In fact, he nearly had to have his arm amputated and went through upwards of 30 surgeries.

The plaintiff’s side

According to the plaintiff’s attorney, Firstservice Residential was vicariously liable because they negligently retained him. The plaintiff’s attorney argued that Mr. Sandman was still acting within his job description, since his job including entertaining clients, and that he was allowed by the company to drink on the job. The plaintiff also stated that the trip to the pub was job-related, as the pair were looking for a location for future parties held by Firstservice Residential.

The plaintiff’s attorney also pointed out that Mr. Sandman was convicted of a DUI within six months of the date he was hired and had a suspended license as a result. They did not do anything about this, regardless of the fact that driving was part of Mr. Sandman’s job.

The defendant’s side

The defendant said that Mr. Sandman was not working at the time of the accident. His lawyers claim that Mr. Sandman and Mr. George were friends and that they were out socializing as friends at the time of the accident. The defendant’s attorney used a number of emails between to the two to make their point.

The results of the case

The case went before a jury for four weeks and the jury in turn deliberated for less than two days. They said that 80% of the blame was to Mr. Sandman and 20% of the blame was to Mr. George. As a result, Mr. George ended up with an award of more than $15 million.

If you have been injured due to the negligence of a person or an entity, then it’s time to call Law Offices of Fernando D. Vargas at 909-982-0707 to learn more about your options. We are here to start you off with a free legal consultation.