Drunk taxi driver ordered to pay up
Wed, 20 Jun 2012 1:33p.m.
By 3 News online staff
A taxi driver who drove drunk and wrote off her employer's cab has been ordered to pay up more than $11,000.
Maya Artho said she was using the car for business purposes the day of the accident, claiming she was taking the car to recharge the battery after having to jumpstart it the previous day.
She also argued she wasn't actually an employee of Phoenix Cabs, as she had not signed any employment agreement.
The Employment Relations Authority disagreed however, saying despite not signing an employment agreement, under common law she was one. Therefore she had to abide by the company's rules, which included not using the car for personal reasons, and reimbursing damage caused by "negligence, traffic offences and such similar matters".
At the time of the accident, the vehicle's insurance had not been renewed. The ERA estimated the car's value at $10,000, an amount too high to deduct from Ms Artho's wages.
"I find Ms Artho did not exercise reasonable skill and care and breached her employment agreement by driving the employer’s vehicle while intoxicated," the ERA's Dzintra King ruled. "As a result of that breach the vehicle was written off. The employer is entitled to damages for that breach."
Ms Artho has been ordered to pay Phoenix Cabs $10,000 for the car, $1,225.13 in towing and storage costs, and $71.56 for the ERA filing fee.
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