Jury finds Mexican restaurant liable for drunk worker’s crash

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A jury found On The Border liable in crash involving an employee and skateboarder.

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SAN DIEGO – A Superior Court civil jury found On the Border restaurant liable for the negligence of one of its employees who left work, allegedly drunk and injured a skateboarder.

Taiwanese exchange student Kay-Yen Cheng was awarded $1.5 million in damages stemming from a collision between him and a driver in Mission Valley on December 9, 2012.

The On the Border’s employee negligently drank alcohol in the course and scope of his employment, knowing he would later drive, according to Cheng’s attorneys John Gomez and Sean Foldenauer.

Gomez and Foldenauer argued that On the Border allowed its employees to drink after their shifts, employee drinking at the restaurant had become customary and the restaurant benefited from its employees drinking at the restaurant, that the restaurant should be responsible for the harm caused by its allegedly drunk employee.

A defense attorney for On the Border argued that the employee was “clocked out,” paid for his own drinks and the company should not be held responsible for his actions.

After a two-week jury trial, the jury found the employee was within the course and scope of his employment.

“This verdict will go a long way to making us safer. Employees providing co-workers alcohol – knowing they will drive – is a bad idea for many obvious reasons,” said Gomez. “Work should be work, not a place to hang out and get drunk.”

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