A claim of negligent hiring is based on the idea that an employer has a duty to protect others from a risk of harm posed by employees of which the employer knows or should know. If an employer fails to exercise reasonable care to ensure that other employees and customers are not at risk of harm from its employees, the employer may be liable for negligent hiring. For example, an employer might be liable for hiring an employee with a violent criminal record and providing the employee with a firearm. Liability may also be appropriate when an employer fails to check an employee’s past employer references, which would have revealed that an employee was unfit for the position.
In Maryland, a negligent hiring claim requires the plaintiff to show:
- The employer owed a duty to the injured person to use reasonable care in selecting its employees;
- The employer’s conduct in hiring or retaining the employee was not reasonably prudent under the circumstances;
- The employer’s failure to exercise reasonable care caused injuries to the plaintiff; and
- The plaintiff suffered damages.
A negligent hiring claim is particularly useful in cases in which an employee acted outside of the scope of his or her duties. In these cases, the employer would not be liable under the doctrine of respondeat superior, and thus a plaintiff may need to show the employee was negligently hired or retained in order to hold the employer accountable.
Snapchat Video Shows Employee Mocking Nursing Home Resident
Earlier this month, a nursing home resident’s family filed a $1 million lawsuit against a nursing home related to allegations of documented abuse. According to one news source, a video shared on the popular photo-sharing app Snapchat showed an employee tickling the resident’s nose with a feather while she was sleeping, causing her to rub her face with her hand, which was smeared with feces. The resident was 83 years old. The resident’s son removed his mother from the home after the video emerged. He said his mother has advanced Alzheimer’s disease and can barely move, talk, or understand what is going on.
The lawsuit alleges that the nursing home, located in Austin, Texas, failed to report the incident to law enforcement and family members, and the home negligently hired the 23-year-old employee. The family claims that the employee should not have been hired at the nursing home because he had a lengthy arrest record, and he put residents at risk. He had previous arrests for fraud, marijuana possession, and criminal mischief. The employee’s conduct in the Snapchat video resulted in his being charged with causing injury to the elderly.
Contact an Atlanta Personal Injury Attorney
If you have a loved one who has been in the care of a nursing home or another long-term care facility, and you believe they have been abused, you may be able to bring a claim against the home for abuse, neglect, negligent hiring, or another related claim. Unfortunately, nursing home residents are frequently targets of abuse and neglect in the very environments that are intended to protect and care for them. If you suspect nursing home abuse, contact the law firm of Lebowitz & Mzhen Personal Injury Lawyers online or call us at 410-654-3600 to set up a free consultation.
More Blog Posts:
The Use of Hidden Cameras in Maryland Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published May 12, 2017.
Resident-on-Resident Abuse in Maryland Nursing Homes, Maryland Nursing Home Lawyer Blog, published April 28, 2017.