The Court of Appeal agreed with the theories Horvitz & Levy presented in oral argument and affirmed summary judgment in favor of its client based on the “going-and-coming” rule.
Eyad Rihani co-owns iDrip Vape, LLC, a vaping supply store in Santa Clarita. In May 2018, Mr. Rihani was involved in an automobile collision in his private vehicle while on his commute home from work, which killed Shaunta Jackson. In the wrongful death suit, Ms. Jackson’s mother sued both Mr. Rihani and iDrip Vape, alleging that the company was vicariously liable for Mr. Rihani’s actions. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of iDrip Vape, concluding that under the “going-and-coming” rule, Mr. Rihani’s drive home from work was outside the scope of his work and therefore iDrip Vape was not subject to liability for the accident.
On appeal, plaintiff argued that the “going-and-coming” rule did not apply because Mr. Rihani often made impromptu, work-related trips to the bank or product suppliers in his personal vehicle, and therefore the availability of the vehicle was an incidental benefit to the business. iDrip Vape retained Horvitz & Levy to present the oral argument. The Court of Appeal affirmed, holding that the impromptu trips made by Mr. Rihani were not sufficient to create vicarious liability because 1) he had made no work-related trip on the day of the accident, and 2) he was not required to make his vehicle available to the business so he could make supply runs on an emergency basis.