A 22-year-old caterer died after she was hit by a delivery van when she was preparing food for a large party in Redondo Beach. According to an article in the Daily Breeze, the woman was working in the loading dock of a power plant when a woman delivering speakers to the party, backed up the van and hit her, the newspaper reported.
Officials told the Breeze that the driver, a 62-year-old Ojai woman hit the gas pedal instead of the brake. The victim, who has not yet been identified, suffered severe internal and head injuries. She was pronounced dead in an area hospital.
There is no doubt that the van driver and her employer are responsible for the accident and injuries caused because this woman was clearly on the job at the time of the incident; making a delivery at the party. When a company’s employee causes an accident or injury, it is most likely that the employer will be legally held responsible for the actions of the employee who was “going about the employer’s business” at the time.
Many times, when a lawsuit is filed in such cases, there are many finer points especially relating to when an employer is economically liable for the acts of its employees. That issue was the subject of one of our cases that recently went to a California Appeals Court and also the underlying case in a lawsuit we have filed in Federal Court against the Supreme Court of California.
In the case of Hild v. Southern California Edison, an Appellate Court overturned a jury verdict after jurors awarded $700,000 to our client for an injury caused by an SCE employee who hit him with paintballs. The injury permanently blinded our client in the right eye. The Appellate Court ruled against our client saying that the employee who caused the injuries was not going about the business of her employer.
Accidents involving employers and employees are extremely complex although they may look like no-brainers to start with. It takes an experienced personal injury lawfirm with resources and firepower to deal with employers, especially when they happen to be big corporations with political clout and high-powered legal teams. The van driver’s employer probably already has his or her insurance company on this case to make sure they are protected. Who does the victim’s family have on their side? Who is fighting for their rights?