Houston appellate partner Andrew Johnson successfully defended in the Fifth Circuit a summary judgment on behalf of Missionaries of the Company of Mary. In the case, plaintiff alleged that the driver, a religious brother, caused a motor-vehicle accident while driving to church and was acting in the course and scope of his employment with Missionaries at the time of the accident.
The Fifth Circuit agreed with Mr. Johnson’s briefing and held that, regardless of whether the driver was on his way to perform work for Missionaries at the time of the accident, because he was “on his way,” he was not acting within the course and scope of employment under Texas’ “coming and going” rule, which provides “an employer is not liable for torts committed during an employee’s transit to and from work.” The Fifth Circuit cited the Supreme Court of Texas’ recent opinion recognizing the “coming and going” rule, Painter v. Amerimex Drilling I, Ltd., 561 S.W.3d 125 (Tex. 2018). Mr. Johnson previously wrote an article about Painter that can be read here.
The case is Krystal Berry v. Missionaries of the Company of Mary, Inc., et al.