Although negligent hiring and retention laws aren’t new, lawsuits surrounding negligent hiring have steadily been on the rise since the 1980s. According to Liability Consultant’s Inc., employers are often prime candidates for compensating the victim. Negligent Hiring and Retention laws hold employers liable for willful misconduct committed by their employees. This not only includes actions in the scope of employment, but may include employee actions outside the place of work. Liability Consultant’s Inc. reports that the average settlements in negligent hiring cases are now over 1.5 million dollars.
Companies have been judged negligent in court in many cases.
- Deerings West Nursing Center vs Scott – The nursing home was found liable for nearly $250,000 for negligent hiring of an unlicensed nurse with prior criminal convictions. The nurse assaulted an 80-year old visitor at the nursing center.
- Butler vs Hertz Corp. – The employer settled for a $2.5 million lawsuit when held liable for negligent hiring. Its security guard had an on-duty traffic accident killing another motorist while driving a company car.
- Porter vs Proffitt’s Inc. – The store’s security guard injured a customer while held as a suspected shoplifter. The plaintiff was awarded $10 million dollars in damages in a suit against the store for negligent hiring.
- Liebman vs. Hall Fin Group, Inc. – A $5 million settlement was given the family of a murdered female tenant against the apartment complex owner. The female was killed by the complex’s assistant manager’s brother.
Since negligent hiring is based on the principle that employers have an obligation to protect their clients and employees from foreseeable acts of a fellow worker, employers should perform due diligence when hiring employees. This includes a comprehensive criminal background checks. The employee should not begin working until the background information is checked and verified. If it’s not done, the company is taking a chance that they could face a negligent hiring lawsuit.
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