In the case of Sony DADC US Inc. and Brown v. Thompson, Thompson filed suit alleging negligence and vicarious liability against Brown and his employer, Sony DADC US Inc. Thompson worked as a security guard for Securitas, a private contractor, and provided security for Sony at its Terre Haute, Indiana facility. While walking across the parking lot at Sony, he was struck by a car driven by Brown, who had clocked out for the day, but had yet to leave the Sony property because he was planning to place personal items in the recycling area provided by Sony. In a pretrial order, the trial court found as a matter of law that Sony was vicariously liable for Thompson’s injuries because Brown was within the scope of his employment at the time of the accident. Sony then appealed the trial court’s order.
Sony argued that Brown was not acting within the scope of his employment because he had clocked out of work and was leaving for the day. He planned to recycle personal items and Sony said that Brown was not in any way required to use them as part of his employment. To fall within the scope of employment, the injurious act must be incidental to the conduct authorized or it must to an extent further the employer’s business. The Court held that there were issues of fact as to whether for this purpose or were closely associated with his employment relationship to fall within the scope. The Court remanded back to the trial court for a new trial where the issue of vicarious liability is presented to the jury.
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