Folsom Driver Injured in Automobile Crash, Part 4 of 14

(Please note: the names and locations of all parties have been changed to protect the confidentiality of the proceedings.)

“Q. You had the right to direct Nancy Smythe in her work at ABC. True? A. Yes.”
2. An additional criteria creating an employer-employee relationship is the right to fire at will. Smythe did what she was told by her immediate superior, Chan, because Smythe believed she could be fired otherwise. [Smythe deposition, at 28:3-29:7; 31:2-14. Chan deposition, at 46:14-47:4, set forth below.]
“Q. You had the right to fire Ms. Smythe, if you chose to?
A. Yes.
Q. If he – if you found someone else who you thought could do a better job, you could have fired her and hired another person?
A. Correct.
Q. If she didn’t meet expectations, you could fire her?
A. Correct.
Q. If you decided to take the company in a different direction, you could fire her?
A. Correct.
Q. You could fire her whenever you felt like she wasn’t helpful?
A. Correct.”
3. In keeping with her status as an employee as of July 2006, according to CEO Chan, Smythe was “Acting President” of ABC. [Chan depo, at 25:19-26:13.] Smythe had the responsibilities of the President of ABC. [Smythe depo, at 108:11-20.] Chan introduced Smythe as President and Chief Operation Officer. [Chan depo, at 100:25-101:7.]

4. At the time of the collision with plaintiff John Gibbs, ABC President Smythe was acting within the scope of her employment. She was attending the ITC conference in northern California, and she was provided a rental car by ABC. [Smythe deposition, at 30:14-16.] She attended the ITC conference all day on July 17, representing ABC. [Smythe deposition, at 33:4-19.] Smythe had more ABC business to do on the afternoon of July 18, and was she required to stay in the area. [Smythe deposition, at 37:9-16.]
5. Her trip to San Francisco had both a business (find internet access to read and respond to ABC emails) and a personal purpose (visit a friend). [Smythe Declaration, ¶4-6, as set forth below.]
“Unfortunately the ABC house in San Anselmo did not have internet access at that time, so I was unable to perform my e-mail duties and related business obligations while using the San Anselmo house. I drove to the Glen Ellen office at night to get internet access. On the evening of July 17, 2006, I chose to drive to my friend’s home in nearby San Francisco which had wireless internet access. This would allow me to check my e-mail and fulfill my business obligations to ABC, as well as visit with my friend.”
Smythe decided to drive to San Francisco late Thursday, July 17, so she could visit with a friend and have breakfast Friday morning before returning to attend her ABC meetings. [Smythe deposition, at 117:23-119:2.]

6. President Smythe had the pre-approval of CEO Chan to drive to San Francisco. Smyhte told Chan that she was going and Chan did not object. [Smythe deposition, at 121:3-8; 141:3-9.] (See Part 5 of 14.)

For more information you are welcome to contact Sacramento personal injury lawyer, Moseley Collins.

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