These sorts of issues are quite common. For example, Grammy winning singer-songwriter and producer The Dream, whose real name is Terius Nash, and his music label have been sued along with his alleged employee, Patrick Thrall, for a car accident involving Mr. Thrall in June 2010 in Georgia. Elaine Nowells, the plaintiff in this case, claims that Mr. Thrall T-boned her car while running a red light at a four-way intersection. She claims the accident was so serious that her car was knocked on its side and slid down the street. Ms. Nowells asserts that she broke her back and suffered mental and physical pain due to the “shock, fright and terror” she experienced. The suit claims that Mr. Thrall was at fault for the accident, due to distracted driving, which as discussed in previous posts, is a major cause of accidents. This time the alleged distraction was not a cell phone, but a GPS.
Ms. Nowells included The Dream in her lawsuit, even though he was not personally involved in the accident and wasn’t in Georgia at the time, because she claims Mr. Thrall is an employee of The Dream’s company, Radiokilla Records. She says Mr. Thrall was on duty as an employee at the time of the accident, and therefore The Dream can be held financially responsible for the accident. Ms. Nowells is seeking damages from Mr. Thrall and The Dream to cover her medical expenses related to her injuries from the crash.
The Dream is refuting the case by claiming that Patrick Thrall is not an employee of Radiokilla Records, Island Def Jam, or any of his affiliate companies. He calls Mr. Thrall an “independent contractor” and says he was on the way to his hotel when the accident happened–and not in the midst of work for The Dream.
It is for the Georgia courts to decide the merits of this lawsuit. To find vicarious liability, meaning to hold The Dream responsible for the conduct of Mr. Thrall, the court must find that Mr. Thrall was negligently driving, that he was an employee of The Dream or his company, and that he was driving in the course and scope of his employment, (i.e. that he was on the clock at the time of the accident).
It is important for Georgians hurt in these ways to understand the legal rules which hold various parties accountable for injuries. These are often complicated legal issues, so if someone in your family has been involved in a car accident, our experienced Milton car accident attorneys at Sammons & Carpenter, PC can assist you. Call us today at 404-991-5950, or fill out our confidential online case evaluation form for a free consultation.
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