Positive Result in Intentional Tort Case
March 3, 2016
The San Francisco County Superior Court granted summary judgment in an intentional tort case handled by Heidi C. Quan, Chantel E. Lafrades, and Katelyn M. Knight.
The case arose from an incident that took place in 2012 at the Food Express restaurant in San Francisco's Chinatown district. The Plaintiff walked into the Food Express restaurant where she was confronted by an employee who accused Plaintiff of swindling the employee out of money in a "Chinese ghost scam." The employee called upon individuals from surrounding businesses to detain the Plaintiff while the police were called. Plaintiff was arrested, however the charges were ultimately dropped.
Plaintiff filed suit against Food Express asserting causes of action for battery, false imprisonment, and false arrest based on a respondeat superior theory of liability, as well as a cause of action for negligent hiring, training and supervision. Plaintiff argued that Food Express bore liability for the conduct of its employee because the incident took place at work during working hours, and that Food Express ratified the conduct of its employee in failing to take any disciplinary action against her.
The Murchison attorneys moved for summary judgment, or in the alternative summary adjudication, arguing that the conduct fell outside of the scope of employment in that the conduct arose from a personal matter and was not reasonably related to the employee's duties as a dishwasher, that there was no evidence of any affirmative ratifying action, and Food Express had no notice of the employee's alleged unfitness supporting a negligent hiring and retention claim.
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