Jones v. Vasilias
3/15/23, Judge Conner
An employee of a car dealership was pulling out of the dealership-owned van to make a delivery, and the driver struck a bicyclist who had been riding along the busy street that ran past the dealership.
The plaintiff bicyclist sued the driver and also sued the general manager and service manager of the dealership, the driver’s supervisors, for negligence. The service manger had sent the employee out on the delivery. The plaintiff also sued the general manager’s employer, North American Automotive Services, Inc, for negligent employment including vicarious liability for negligent training, retention, supervision, and entrustment.
The supervisors and employer corporation moved to dismiss for failure to state a claim. They argued that because they admitted that the employee was employed and in the scope of employment, the only way to sue them was for a separate tort outside of employment. The trial court dismissed all claims but those against the driver.
Unlike claims of vicarious liability, claims of direct liability against an employer can be alleged even if the tortfeasor was acting within the scope of employment. Reversed and remanded. https://supremecourt.flcourts.gov/content/download/863298/opinion/213476_DC13_03152023_ 100015_i.pdf
Terry P. Roberts
Director of Appellate Practice Fischer Redavid PLLC