William G. Schwab and Associates
811 Blakeslee Blvd. Dr. East (PA Route 443) PO Box 56 Lehighton, PA 18235
Tel 610-377-5200 Fax 610-377-5209
NEWSLETTER
Personal Injury May 23, 2015
 
Personal Injury
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Criminal Law
Elder Law
Estate Planning/Probate
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Slip and Fall Injuries

There is no concise formula to determine whether injuries sustained from a fall are the responsibility of another. Each case is individually ...(more)

 

Liability of Franchisors Arising Out of Agency Relationships

 An increasing array of goods and services are offered through "franchises." Franchising is not a new concept, but it has ...(more)

 

State Responsibility to Design and Maintain Safe Highways

Governments and government agencies are potentially liable for accidents caused, in whole or in part, by defects in highway design ...(more)

 

Exception to Federal Government Immunity from Lawsuits

The doctrine of "sovereign immunity" protects the U.S. and other governments from lawsuits.  In 1946, Congress adopted the Federal Tort ...(more)

 

Personal Injury Headlines

Illinois Teen Injured in Bike Wreck Awarded $910K

Personal-injury accident investigtion leads to multiple charges for Massena pair

Walmart removes personal injury lawsuit to federal court

Anderson Hospital denies allegations in personal injury lawsuit

$5 million personal injury lawsuit against city dismissed

Employers' Liability for Failing to Screen Potential Employees


"Negligent hiring" is a legal doctrine that holds employers liable for unlawful acts committed by their employees. The issue arises when an employer hires a person that she knew or should have known could pose an undue risk of harm to others within the course and scope of employment.

Under this doctrine, the employer has the responsibility for checking the background and references of any job applicant before placing that individual in a situation of contact with the public. Examples of businesses particularly at risk may include:

  • Schools
  • Housing
  • Youth organizations
  • Customer-service

Establishing a Claim Under Negligent Hiring
A person that alleges injuries caused by an employee and expects to hold the employer liable under the doctrine of negligent hiring must show that:

  1. The employer owed a duty to that person because there was an association or connection between that person and the services or business the employer provides;
  2. The nature and frequency of the employee's contact with the public may pose a potential risk of harm; and
  3. Evidence of the employee's potential risk to others existed prior to and at the time of the hiring and that the employer failed to investigate.

Negligent Hiring Frequently Cited in Litigation
In December, 2005, the parents of an eight year-old boy filed a lawsuit against FedEx Corp., alleging the negligent hiring of Paul Sykes, a convicted sex offender. The lawsuit alleged that Sykes approached the family at the Connecticut FedEx Kinko's store where he was employed, and offered to repair their home computer. While visiting their home to repair the computer, Sykes allegedly assaulted their son. The lawsuit asserted that FedEx knew, or should have known, of Sykes' dangerous propensities as a sexual predator. In April of 2007 Sykes was sentenced to 12 years in prison for the molestation.  In 2008, a federal judge dismissed the civil lawsuit against FedEx, ruling the company could not be held responsible for the conduct of its employee outside the workplace. The case is currently on appeal. 

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