Irvine Attorneys Extract Summary Judgment on the Eve of Trial.

Oct 5, 2021

Irvine Partners Ed Schmitt and Ryan Antes, along with Associates James McDaniels and Caroline Cordova, extracted their staffing agency client from a lawsuit on the virtual eve of trial, and obtained reimbursement for the cost of the defense, using Summary Judgment.

Plaintiff claimed she was seriously injured when her vehicle was rear-ended on the freeway. Plaintiff argued that since she was hit by the Defendant’s staff agency supplied employee on his way to a jobsite, that his employer was liable for her injuries. The  defendant driver settled directly with plaintiff, who continued to pursue the action against  both the employer and staffing agency.  Our team was successful in utilizing the “going-and-coming” exception for vicarious liability to terminate the exposure of all employer defendants.   The Court granted summary judgment and ordered Plaintiff to pay costs because of a prior Code of Civil Procedure section 998 offer.  Though initially denied,  a voluntary acceptance of the employer client’s  defense under an indemnity contract with the staffing agency was achieved by the filing of a separate motion for summary adjudication by the client employer against the staffing agency based on the immediate duty to defend required by the Crawford v. Weathershield case.  With the cross-complaint thus resolved by this acceptance, the two employer defendants joined forces to bring this united front motion and obtain a dismissal of plaintiffs action as to both defendants.

Edward Schmitt                                           Ryan Antes                                                 James McDaniels                                      Caroline Cordova