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Georgia Court of Appeals Holds Employer May Be Liable for Employee’s Drunk Driving Accident

Earlier this year, the Georgia Court of Appeals issued an interesting opinion in a car accident case brought by a man who was struck by a drunk driver who was operating a moving truck that was owned by his employer. The case required the court to determine if the employer could be held liable for the employee’s actions, given what the employer knew at the time it allowed the employee to use the truck. Ultimately, the court determined that the plaintiff did present sufficient evidence to survive summary judgement.

Key RingThe Facts of the Case

The defendant was an employer who allowed one of its employees to use a moving truck for personal use. While the employee was borrowing the truck, he was allegedly involved in a drunk driving accident, seriously injuring the plaintiff. The plaintiff filed a personal injury lawsuit against both the allegedly drunk driver as well as his employer.

The plaintiff presented the testimony of the employee, who explained that he told the employer during his pre-employment interview that he had been convicted of multiple drunk driving offenses. The employee candidly admitted that he was not exactly sure of what he told the employer during the interview, but he remembered that he was honest about his past and that he disclosed that he had “multiple” DUIs.

In response to the claims against it, the employer explained that it had ordered a criminal background check of the employee and that it came back clean. However, that check only looked back three years. There was no evidence that the employer conducted a driving history check.

The trial judge granted the employer’s motion for summary judgment, finding that there was insufficient evidence that the employer knew of the employee’s driving history. However, on appeal, the case was reversed. The Georgia Court of Appeals focused on the relevant question, which was whether the employer “knew or should have known” that the employee was a high-risk driver. The court concluded that since the employee admitted to having “multiple DUIs,” the employer was put on notice that the employee was a high-risk driver. Given that, the employer was not entitled to rely solely on the criminal background check and ignore the employee’s contrary verbal statements.

Have You Been Injured in a Georgia DUI Accident?

If you or a loved one has recently been injured in a Georgia drunk driving accident, you may be entitled to monetary compensation. Depending on the circumstances surrounding the accident, there may be multiple at-fault parties; however, the facts giving rise to this liability may not be discovered without an in-depth investigation. The skilled personal injury attorneys at Miller Legal Services know where to look for liability and have decades of experience conducting investigations into all types of accidents. With our help, you can rest assured you and your case are in good hands. Call 770-284-3727 to set up a free consultation to discuss your case with a dedicated attorney today.

More Blog Posts:

Georgia Appellate Court Holds Teacher Who Left Classroom Is Entitled to Immunity in Wrongful Death Lawsuit, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, January 24, 2016.

Delivery Driver Struck While Delivering Fuel to Gas Station Allowed to Proceed in Premises Liability Case, Marietta Personal Injury Lawyer Blog, February 1, 2017.

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