Negligent Hiring

In some personal injury cases a company, business, or corporation is responsible for the medical bills, lost wages, and pain and suffering damages of an accident victim. If a company, business, or corporation was irresponsible in the hiring of the particular employee who caused the damages, that company may also be sued for negligent hiring.

In Florida, the case of Tallahassee Furniture Company v. Harrison, 583 So. 2d 744 (Fla 1st DCA 1991) lays out some guidelines when considering a case of negligent hiring. In that case, the court confirmed that an employer is liable for the willful conduct or negligence of his employee that injures someone if the employer knew or should have known that the employee was a threat to others.

The employer is also supposed to act according to the standards of a reasonable person in choosing or retaining an employee for the particular Job to be performed. An employer has a presumption against negligent hiring under Florida Statute 768.096, which provides an employer some protection if they ran a background check, consulted references, or took other precautionary steps in hiring the employee. However, this only creates a presumption that the employer was not negligent and that presumption can be overcome with additional evidence.

In any workplace accident involving an employee or associate of a business, it is important to investigate the facts regarding the hiring of that employee as it may lead to the discovery of a claim for negligent hiring and possible punitive damages.