The Second Department, reversing (modifying) Supreme Court in this pedestrian-vehicle accident case, determined: (1) a ruling by the Unemployment Insurance Appeal Board finding that defendant driver was an employee of defendant Uber was not entitled collateral-estoppel effect pursuant to Labor Law 623( 2); (2) although the Labor Law 623(2) argument was not raised below, it raised a question of law which could not have been avoided below and therefore was considered on appeal; (3) the claim that defendant driver had logged off the Uber app at the time of the accident did not warrant summary judgment in favor of Uber on the vicarious liability theory:
An action may be considered to be within the scope of employment, thus rendering an employer vicariously liable for the conduct, when “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” … . Whether an employee was acting within the scope of his or her employment is generally a question of fact for the jury … .
Here, contrary to Uber’s contention, the averments [that the driver] had logged off of the Uber app 40 minutes before the accident were simply insufficient, without more, to eliminate all questions of fact as to whether Hussein was acting within the scope of his alleged employment with Uber at the time of the incident … . Uy v Hussein, 2020 NY Slip Op 05080, Second Dept 9-23-30