Pl - Courtless
Df - Jolliffe
On May 16, 1995, Bobby Courtless, while riding his bicycle, was struck
by a vehicle driven by David Clyde Jolliffe.
Bobby was rendered permanently disabled due to the injuries sustained
in that accident and became a paraplegic.
Mr. Jolliffe was employed by Princess and
was en route to work at the
time of the accident.
from his home to the Princess mine site, Mr. Jolliffe had stopped to buy shocks for his vehicle.
The Appellants filed a civil action against both Mr. Jolliffe and
Princess, alleging that Princess was
liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior.
Princess paid Mr. Jolliffe $400 monthly, the amount of the monthly
payment on the truck.
Princess also paid maintenance and repair costs on Mr.
Jolliffes truck, and Mr. Jolliffe had free use of gasoline
from the Princess gas tanks.
In exchange, Mr. Jolliffe used the vehicle at the Princess sites
on a daily basis
Motion For Summary Judgment
Princess filed a motion for summary judgment, alleging that Mr.
Jolliffe was not acting within the scope of his employment.
Trial court granted motion of summary judgment,
finding that the evidence did not
support an exception to the coming and going rule.
A rule in W.VA is that if it can be shown that an individual is an
agent and if he is acting within the
scope of his employment
when he commits a tort, then the principal is liable for the
tort as well as the agent."
An agent or employee can be held personally liable for his own torts
against third parties and this personal liability if it is
independent of his agency or employee relationship.
Of course, if he is acting within the scope of his
employment, then his principal or employer may also be held
The universally recognized rule is that an employer is liable to a
third person for any injury to his person or property which
results proximately from tortious conduct of an employee acting
within the scope of his employment.
The negligent or tortious act may be imputed to the employer if the act
of the employee was done in accordance with the expressed or
implied authority of the employer.
Scope of employment is a relative term and requires
consideration of surrounding circumstances including the
character of the employment,
the nature of the wrongful deed,
the time and place of its commission and the purpose of the act.
Going and Coming Rule
Essentially declares that the doctrine of respondeat superior is not
typically applicable while the employee is coming or going to
It traditionally applies where the ONLY evidence linking the employer
to the accident was the fact that the employee was coming or
going to work.
No vicarious liability on the party of the employer when the
employee is just coming or going to work.
When an employee, having identifiable time and space limits on his
employment, makes an
off-premises journey which would normally not be
covered under the usual going and coming rule, the journey
may be brought within the course of employment by the fact that
the trouble and time of making the journey, or the special
inconvenience, hazard, or urgency of making it in the particular
circumstances, is itself sufficiently substantial to be viewed
as an integral part of the service itself.
Special Hazards Dangerous over and above what a person would normally
be found on a road way. A job that makes you to take a
dangerous and windy road.
Employer Compensates Employee for Time and Travel.
Dual Purpose Where the employee, in addition to traveling to and from
the employers worksite, also performs some additional service
for the employer not common to an ordinary commute to work.
(i.e., if you run an errand for your boss.
The granting of summary judgment prematurely discontinued the gathering
Lower court erred in granting summary judgment.
Case remanded for further proceedings.