Dictaphone Corp. v. Torrealba – Case Brief Summary (Texas)

In Dictaphone Corp. v. Torrealba, 520 S.W.2d 869 (Tex. Civ. App. - Houston 14th Dist. 1975, writ ref'd n.r.e.), Glenn Smith was employed by Dictaphone Corporation as a salesman.

Smith lived in Stafford. On the date of his collision with Torrealba resulting in the latter's death, Smith had driven to Freeport to work.

He then drove to Houston where he took care of some personal business. He then planned to drive to Bryan for the night where he would install some dictaphone equipment he had sold to a dentist. While looking for a place to cash a check to pay for his out-of-pocket expenses in Bryan, Smith's vehicle struck Torrealba, killing him.

The court determined that although Smith had also been taking care of personal business in Houston prior to the time of the fatal collision, he was within the course and scope of his employment with Dictaphone Corporation because he was making preparations to leave for Bryan on company business. Torrealba, 520 S.W.2d at 870-72.