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ARTICLE ID 10647

on course and scope of employment issue. Motor Vehicle Negligence - auto/bicycle collision - defendants driver and County settle prior to trial - case proceeds solely against defendant driver's employer.

ORANGE County, CALIFORNIA

This action arose out of an automobile/bicycle collision allegedly caused by the negligence of the defendant auto operator, who was allegedly operating his car within the course and scope of his employment with the defendant McDonnell Douglas at the time of the accident. The defendant auto operator settled out of the case prior to trial for his $________ policy limits. The plaintiff had additionally asserted a claim against the County of Orange alleging that the intersection where the accident occurred was unreasonably dangerous. The County paid $________ to settle and the case proceeded to trial against the auto operator’s employer McDonnell Douglas.

The subject accident occurred on January 5, ________, at approximately 7:45 a.m. The settling defendant auto operator was operating a ________ Dodge Caravan and struck the 13-year-old plaintiff, who was riding her bicycle. The plaintiff sustained serious and permanent injuries as a result of the accident. The testimony indicated that the settling defendant driver, a Southern California Regional Service Manager for the defendant McDonnell Douglas Corporation, had just dropped off his children at school and was returning home when the accident occurred. According to his testimony, it was the operator’s intention once he arrived home to speak on the telephone with some work associates. Thereafter, he intended to go into his office in Santa Ana and work. Based upon this testimony, the plaintiff alleged that the settling defendant operator was operating his car within the course and scope of his employment. The plaintiff’s medical specials totaled $________.

The defendant McDonnell Douglas denied that the defendant was driving his van in the course and scope of his employer at the time of the subject accident. On the agency issue, it was argued that the defendant driver had not yet commenced his workday and that his trip to and from the school was solely personal, having absolutely no relationship with his employment. The jury found for the defendant on the course and scope of employment issue.

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