Anne Marie Garcia Attains Pre-Discovery Dismissal of Claims Against Local Fire Department

In a case in which the plaintiff suffered serious injuries necessitating multiple surgical procedures, the Supreme Court, Orange County granted our pre-discovery motion for summary judgment. Plaintiff  was operating a motor vehicle that was involved in an accident with the vehicle owned and operated by a volunteer firefighter who had responded to an alarm earlier that day. All volunteers reported to and were held at the fire station while the Chief investigated the alarm. It was determined that it was a false alarm as the business had failed to notify the alarm company of testing or place the alarm in test mode. The call was cleared and all volunteers were dismissed. After the call was dismissed, while operating his own personal vehicle, the volunteer firefighter was involved in the subject motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff’s asserted the doctrine of respondeat superior in support of her claims that the Fire Department is vicariously liable for the actions of the volunteer firefighter. Senior Associate, Anne Marie Garcia, filed a motion for summary judgment. In support of the motion, we submitted the Affidavit of the Fire Department Chief averring that the call had been cleared, the volunteers were dismissed and that the volunteer firefighter was not engaged in any fire department activities when he was involved in the subject accident. The Court agreed with our position and found that our client had no control over the volunteer firefighter and that any of the volunteer firefighter’s actions, including the subject motor vehicle accident, was not within the scope of employment.

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