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Click here for the full text of this decision FACTS:Corte Adams worked as a tire alignment technician for Goodyear at its shop in Bryan. Adams regularly commuted approximately two hours from his home in Houston to Bryan, worked an eight-hour to 10-hour shift at the Bryan store, and then commuted approximately two hours home. He used Goodyear vehicles to travel between Bryan and Houston. Occasionally, on his trips to and from Houston, Adams shuttled tires between Goodyear’s Bryan store and its Homestead store in Houston. If Adams was able to deliver the tires before the Homestead store closed, he was paid for the trip from Bryan to Houston. If he arrived after the store had closed, Adams would deliver the tires to the Homestead store the next morning before setting out for Bryan, and his workday would begin with the delivery. On Feb. 26, 1999, Adams left Bryan headed to the Homestead store with a tire delivery. By the time he arrived, the store was closed. Adams then drove to his father’s nearby home, with the tires still on the back of the truck. There he ate dinner, drank a few beers and slept for approximately five hours. A little before 3 a.m., Adams left the apartment to purchase cigarettes for his father. On his way to the convenience store, Adams fell asleep at the wheel, crossed the center line into oncoming traffic and struck head-on a truck driven by Patrick Mayes. Both Mayes and Adams were injured in the collision. Mayes sued Adams for negligence, negligence per se and gross negligence, and he sued Goodyear for negligent entrustment and vicarious liability under a respondeat superior theory. The trial court granted Goodyear’s motion for summary judgment, severed Mayes’ suit against Goodyear from his suit against Adams, and rendered a final take-nothing judgment in favor of Goodyear. On appeal, the 1st Court of Appeals reversed the trial court’s judgment and remanded the case to the trial court. The 1st Court held that sufficient evidence raised a genuine issue of material fact on whether Adams was acting in the course and scope of his employment at the time of the accident. The 1st Court also held that Mayes presented sufficient evidence to survive summary judgment on his negligent entrustment claim. The dissent concluded that the undisputed facts in the case precluded Mayes’ claims as a matter of law. HOLDING:Reversed and rendered. Under the theory of respondeat superior, the court stated, an employer may be vicariously liable for the negligent acts of its employee if the employee’s actions are within the course and scope of his employment. The employee’s acts must be of the same general nature as the conduct authorized or incidental to the conduct authorized to be within the scope of employment. Adams’ personal errand, the court stated, was not an act in furtherance of his employer’s business or for the accomplishment of the object for which he was hired. Thus, the court found evidence to raise a genuine issue of material fact over whether at the time of the accident Adams was acting in furtherance of Goodyear’s business or for the accomplishment of the object for which Goodyear hired him. As a second independent basis for its judgment, the 1st Court considered “Goodyear’s authorization of workers’ compensation payments to Adams for the injuries he sustained in the accident” sufficient to raise a genuine issue of material fact as to whether Adams was acting in the course and scope of his employment. But the court did not find any such evidence that Goodyear authorized workers’ compensation payments for Adams, but only disputed evidence that Adams received workers’ compensation checks and that he completed a workers’ compensation form. Goodyear, the court stated, also argued that the 1st Court erred by finding a genuine issue of material fact for Mayes’ liability claim under a negligent entrustment theory. Again, the court found no evidence that at the time Goodyear entrusted the vehicle to Adams, Adams was an unlicensed, incompetent or reckless driver, or that Goodyear knew or should have known Adams was an unlicensed, incompetent or reckless driver. In addition, the court stated, Goodyear’s knowledge of Adams’ work schedule and his commute, without more, did not raise a fact issue that he was, or that Goodyear knew or should have known that he was an incompetent driver because of insufficient sleep. OPINION:Per curiam.

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