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Vehicle advertising insufficient to subject employer to auto accident liability

The Illinois Appellate Court recently ruled that a magnetic sign advertisement placed on the side of an employee’s vehicle would not be sufficient to subject the employer to personal injury liability for an automobile accident if the employee was on a purely personal mission. In the Second District case of Nulle v. Krewer, No. 2-06-0947 (July 17, 2007), the Defendants were the driver and the driver’s employer, Leifer Builders. The driver was required to have a car for work so that he could run errands for work and travel between job sites. The purpose of the magnetic signs was to both identify the driver when he arrived at work sites and also to advertise for the builder while the driver was on the road.

Even though the employer instructed the driver to remove the magnetic sign from his vehicle after hours, the driver did have the magnetic signs on his car at the time of the automobile accident. However, the presence of the magnetic sign alone was not enough to subject the employer to personal injury liability where the driver was using the vehicle for personal reasons and after hours.

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