While on a job site in Dahlonega, Georgia, Steve Moss took a Local Mechanical vehicle without permission causing a multivehicle collision. It was believed that at the time of the incident, Mr. Moss was undergoing some sort of psychotic episode and may have been attempting to commit suicide by vehicle. Along with criminal charges against Mr. Moss, several civil lawsuits arose out of the collision against both Mr. Moss and Local Mechanical Networking, Inc. In Karen Bright v. Local Mechanical Networking, Inc. and Steve Moss, Ms. Bright alleged that Local Mechanical had negligently entrusted the vehicle to Mr. Moss and was vicariously liable for his conduct. Ms. Bright also alleged that Local Mechanical was negligent for hiring Mr. Moss, a veteran with a history of DUI and PTSD, and negligently supervising and training Mr. Moss on the day of the collision. Ms. Bright also alleged that Local Mechanical should be held liable for attorney’s fees under O.C.G.A. 13-6-11 and punitive damages.
James Hankins and Samantha Mullis moved for summary on all claims, arguing Mr. Moss was not in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the collision and that he was not entrusted with the vehicle. Defense Counsel further argued there was no evidence of similar behavior from Mr. Moss that would have made them aware he was likely to steal a work van and cause an accident. James Hankins argued the case before Judge Bowers in Cobb County State Court, who granted summary judgment in its entirety.
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