PHYLLIS DODSON, as Special Administrator of the Estate of EBONI DODSON, Deceased, Appellant-Plaintiff,
CURT D. CARLSON, CARMEL HOTEL COMPANY, d/b/a GRILLE 39, SEVEN CORNERS, INC., and CARMEL HOTEL, d/b/a RENAISSANCE HOTEL, Appellees-Defendants
APPEAL FROM THE MARION SUPERIOR COURT. The Honorable Theodore M. Sosin, Judge. Cause No. 49D02-1009-CT-41815.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLANT: RYAN K. JOHNSON, RANDALL L. JUERGENSEN, Keller & Keller, LLP, Indianapolis, Indiana.
ATTORNEYS FOR APPELLEES: Attorneys for Seven Corners, Inc., RICHARD R. SKILES, JANET M. PRATHER, Skiles DeTrude, Indianapolis, Indiana.
MAY, Judge. BAKER, .J., and BRADFORD, J., concur.
OPINION - FOR PUBLICATION
On February 22, 2010, Curt Carlson was driving home from a business meeting over dinner and drinks at the Renaissance Hotel in Carmel, Indiana. He struck a disabled vehicle on the side of I-465 and its driver, Eboni Dodson, was killed. Dodson's estate (hereinafter " Dodson" ) sued Carlson's employer, Seven Corners, Inc., and others. The trial court granted summary judgment for Seven Corners  on the ground there was no issue of fact as to whether Carlson was acting in the scope of his employment when he hit Dodson's car. We affirm.
FACTS AND PROCEDURAL HISTORY
Carlson's meeting began at approximately 5:15 p.m. at the hotel bar. Carlson and his employer, Jim Krampen, typically conducted business meetings at the hotel, and there were other occasions when meetings involved dinner and drinks.
Carlson had four beers while discussing business with Krampen, who owned Seven Corners, and a client. Carlson was not " required" as a part of his employment to be at the business meeting, but this was a " natural part of [his] employment." (Appellant's App. at 37.) The meeting carried over into dinner, at which Carlson had two glasses of wine. Carlson was made " point man on [the] business deal." ( Id. at 44). Krampen bought the alcohol. Carlson left the hotel to drive home and the accident occurred a few minutes later. Carlson was arrested on suspicion of operating a vehicle while intoxicated after he registered .12 on an alcohol breath test machine.
Dodson brought a wrongful death and negligence action against Carlson, the hotel, and Seven Corners. Dodson alleged Seven Corners was liable for Carlson's actions under a theory of respondeat superior. The trial court entered summary judgment for Seven Corners, noting " It is assumed from the case citations of the parties that Indiana case law has not addressed a circumstance involving an employee consuming alcohol within the course of scope of [sic] ...