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What is Negligent Hiring?

Most states recognize the negligence of an employer in the selection and retention of employees and independent contractors. An injured person may generally recover for negligent hiring, supervision or retention of an employee if he or she establishes, in addition to the elements of a negligence claim, that the employer had knowledge of the employee’s unfitness for the job. This cause of action can become important in cases where a person is injured by an employee who has a problematic history.

Example: Suppose you are a customer in a bar and you find yourself in a verbal altercation with the bouncer.  The verbal altercation becomes physical when the bouncer punches you in the face, thereby breaking your nose and other facial bones. You have significant medical bills, but the bar’s lawyer said the bar won’t pay your bills because the bouncer was not acting in the course and scope of his employment when he hit you. Hitting customers is against the bar’s policies and is strictly prohibited.  Now what?

As an experienced personal injury lawyer Memphis, TN relies on, in this scenario, we would recommend conducting additional investigation to find out whether the bouncer who hit you has ever done anything similar in the past.  The answers to the following questions will be important:

  • Does the employee have a criminal background? If so, what kind of convictions or charges? Were they violence-related?
  • What is the employee’s work history? Has he ever been reprimanded or fired for similar conduct?
  • What information do co-workers and supervisors have? Did they ever observe or hear about similar conduct by the employee?
  • Did the employer have anti-violence or other applicable policies in place?
  • Did the employee have the proper training and qualifications for the job?

If, in our example above, it is discovered that the bouncer has been fired from two other jobs because of similar conduct, or if he has recent assault convictions on his record, you might have a case against the bar for negligent hiring.

If you need help with your personal injury case, contact a skilled personal injury lawyer today.

Thanks to our friends and contributors at Patterson Bray who have significant experience fighting for injury victims.