When a woman had left work early and was on a completely personal errand at the time she caused an automobile accident, her employer could not be held liable for her actions.
In Gunter v. Estate of Armstrong, No. E2018-01473-COA-R3-CV (Tenn. Ct. App. Aug. 12, 2019), plaintiff sued the employer of Jamie Armstrong after Armstrong’s vehicle crossed the centerline of a road and caused a car accident, injuring plaintiff. Just before the accident, Armstrong had been working a shift for defendant employer as an in-home caretaker. Armstrong’s replacement showed up early, and Armstrong decided to leave her shift thirty minutes before it ended. This was apparently common practice, although she could technically be called back into work during the remaining thirty minutes. When Armstrong left work, she decided to go get her male friend coffee, and the accident occurred while she was en route to this personal errand.
When Armstrong had been hired, defendant employer had run a drug screen and a TBI background check, both of which came back clear. Defendant did not know that Armstrong had any issues with prescription drug use. On the morning of the accident, the employee who relieved Armstrong said that she seemed very tired and offered to drive her home, but did not believe that she was under the influence. Continue reading