When an individual harms our clients while working within the course and scope of employment, that individual’s employer is also responsible for the harm, a legal concept known as respondeat superior. The employer may also be liable independently, for its negligent hiring, training, and/or supervision of its employee who injured our client. It is essential to determine the fault of the employing business because the employer, either out of its own resources or through commercial insurance coverage, may be more financially able to compensate our clients.
Norma, a produce inspector, was working inside a large commercial business when a forklift operator backed into her, severely fracturing her ankle and shoulder. Norma required several surgeries to treat her injuries, and for several years had to use a cane to walk. The forklift operator and his employer never accepted responsibility for injuring Norma.
Terry was enjoying New Year’s Eve with several friends at a bar in Phoenix when he was struck in the face by the bar’s security guard, who was intoxicated. Terry suffered extensive craniofacial injuries and required several surgeries. The security guard was charged and convicted for assaulting Terry, but the bar denied responsibility for the security guard’s conduct, claiming he was not working for the bar that night. As a result of a lawsuit, Terry obtained a large judgment against the bar. With his felony conviction, the security guard will never be able to lawfully work as a security guard again.
Julie, twenty-seven years old, had a college degree in business and an MBA degree, working as an executive of a major corporation in Phoenix. One day her vehicle was broadsided by a construction truck. Julie suffered mild traumatic brain injuries, making her work far more difficult, and requiring her to begin a lengthy course of neurorehabilitation. The driver of the construction company vehicle was responsible for causing the collision and Julie’s injuries. His employer was responsible as well, as the collision occurred while the driver was working for his employer.