Coming and Going Rule/Required Vehicle Use Exception
Savaikie v. Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (CA2/8 B291120, filed 6/23/20)
Plaintiffs Teresa, Michael, and Ryan Savaikie appeal from a judgment in favor of defendant Kaiser Foundation Hospitals (Kaiser) after the trial court granted Kaiser’s motion for summary judgment. Appellants sued Kaiser for the acts of its volunteer Ralph Steger. Steger struck and killed 14-year-old Wyatt Savaikie as Steger was driving his own vehicle home from an assisted living facility where he provided dog therapy to a Kaiser patient. Appellants acknowledge an employer is not liable for the acts of employees while they are coming to or going from their place of employment, but appellants contend there are triable issues of fact as to whether the “required vehicle use” exception to the coming and going rule applied in this case. Appellants also contend there are triable issues of fact as to whether Kaiser received an “incidental benefit” from Steger’s use of his personal vehicle and whether Steger had specially equipped his vehicle to transport his therapy dog; they claim both circumstances are two additional independent exceptions to the coming and going rule. Finally, appellants contend Steger’s stop at a credit union on the way home from the therapy session did not insulate Kaiser from vicarious liability for Steger’s subsequent accident. We find no triable issues of material fact and affirm the judgment.
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