The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined this third-party assault case against the defendant hospital based upon an alleged sexual assault by an employee-doctor should have been dismissed. Because the alleged assault and battery was not in furtherance of defendant’s business, the doctrine of respondeat superior did not apply. The Second Department noted that the defendant’s motion for summary judgment was not untimely because the note of issue had been vacated, which started the time for summary judgment anew. The Second Department also noted that the failure to attach the pleadings to the motion for summary judgment was not fatal because they were attached to the reply:
Pursuant to CPLR 3212(b), a court will grant a motion for summary judgment when, viewing the evidence in the light most favorable to the opponent of the motion, it determines that the movant’s papers justify holding, as a matter of law, that the cause of action has no merit. “The doctrine of respondeat superior renders an employer vicariously liable for torts committed by an employee acting within the scope of the employment. Pursuant to this doctrine, the employer may be liable when the employee acts negligently or intentionally, so long as the tortious conduct is generally foreseeable and a natural incident of the employment” … . “An employee’s ations fall within the scope of employment where the purpose in performing such actions is to further the employer’s interest, or to carry out duties incumbent upon the employee in furthering the employer’s business'” … . “An act is considered to be within the scope of employment if it is performed while the employee is engaged generally in the business of the employer, or if the act may be reasonably said to be necessary or incidental to such employment” … . Thus, where an employee’s actions are taken for wholly personal reasons, which are not job related, the challenged conduct cannot be said to fall within the scope of employment … .
A sexual assault perpetrated by an employee is not in furtherance of an employer’s business and is a clear departure from the scope of employment, having been committed for wholly personal motives … . Here, the evidence submitted by the defendants demonstrated that the doctor’s alleged conduct was not in furtherance of St. John’s business and was a departure from the scope of his employment, having been committed for wholly personal motives … . Montalvo v Episcopal Health Servs., Inc., 2019 NY Slip Op 04158, Second Dept 5-29-19