Employers have a duty to protect potential clients by not hiring people who have backgrounds that make them unsuitable for particular kinds of work. Health care facilities and home care services are the kinds of employers who should perform diligent background checks to ensure the safety of future patients. Unfortunately, employers don’t always keep up their obligations.
Hiring workers with criminal background can be negligence
In 1991, Trusted Health Resources, Inc. hired Jesse Rogers as a home health caregiver for 32-year-old John Ward, who had cerebral palsy, and his 77-year-old grandmother, despite Rogers’ extensive criminal record. Trusted Health Resources, Inc. didn’t know about Rogers’ background because they never performed a background check.
Trusted Health Resources, Inc. later fired Rogers. A few weeks later, he showed up at Ward’s residence wearing his Trusted Health uniform under the guise that he was there to perform physical therapy on Ward. Once inside the house, he brutally murdered Ward and his grandmother. Ward’s parents, represented by Timothy Lynch, LLP, sued Trusted Health and others for gross negligence. The family won their case and damages of $26.5 million.
Employers have a duty to screen potential employees
The outcome of the Trusted Health case clearly shows the risks of negligent hiring practices. In this case and many others, courts have held employers responsible for the actions of their employees, as well as employees of subcontractors, if proper background investigations were not completed.
Contact the attorneys of Swartz & Lynch LLP if you have questions about security negligence claim in the Greater Boston area.