Articles Posted in VICARIOUS LIABILITY

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Posted by Susan J. Levy

In Williams v. Baker County, 2009 Ga. App. LEXIS 1110 (September 22, 2009), Defendant William Land admitted causing an accident that injured Plaintiff when his vehicle struck her vehicle.
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Posted by H. Lee Pruett

Jessica Heard, the daughter of an officer and owner of Mark Heard Fuel Company, rear-ended Bonnie Hicks while driving a company car. Ms. Heard was employed by the Company as a clerical worker on a part-time, as-needed basis. At the time of the accident, she was driving home from school. Ms. Hicks, the plaintiff, claimed she was injured and filed suit against Ms. Heard and the Company. Plaintiff alleged the Company was liable through vicarious liability and negligent entrustment. Following discovery, the Company filed a motion for summary judgment. Judge David L. Dickinson of the Forsyth County Superior Court granted the motion.
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Posted by Susan J. Levy

Last summer, in the case of Clarendon National Insurance Co. v. Johnson, 293 Ga. App. 103 (2008), cert denied 2008 Ga. LEXIS 1004, Plaintiff Johnson was seriously injured when he was struck by Robert “Wesley” Carnley who drove his tractor trailer across the center line into the opposite lane of travel with a load of carpet he had picked up in Calhoun, Georgia, on his way to California.
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Posted by Susan J. Levy

An employer may be liable for negligent hiring/retention when the employer knew or in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known, the employee was unsuited for the particular employment. Western Indus., Inc. v. Poole, 280 Ga. App. 378 (2006) (emphasis added). The question of whether the employee is suited for employment is resolved by examining the particular job in question. For example, in CSX Transp., Inc. v. Pyramid Stone Indus., Inc., 2008 U. S. App. LEXIS 20001 (11th Cir. 2008), the Court held that an employee was suitable for quarry work given his prior experience operating heavy equipment, despite a prior criminal history of violent crime. Id. To recover punitive damages for the employer’s negligent hiring/retention, the plaintiff must show the employer had actual knowledge “of numerous and serious violations on its driver’s record, or, at the very least, . . . the employer has flouted a legal duty to check a record showing such violations.” Western Indus., Inc., 280 Ga. App. at 380.
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