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Does Causation Matter in Negligent Hiring Cases?

bad employee.JPGLast year the Texas Supreme Court decided whether an employer can be liable for negligent hiring and supervision despite no employee causing any harm to a Plaintiff. Wansey v. Hole, 379 S.W.3d 246 (Tex. 2012).

Facts

  • Hole's daughter attended a driving school owned by Wansey.
     
  • Hole went to pick up his daughter and found her in the back of the building, outside in the dark, with one of Wansey's drivers. No wrongdoing was ever proven.
     
  • Hole wanted a full refund for the driving school and Wansey refused. Wansey Sued for breach of contract and negligent hiring and supervision.

Holding

The Texas Supreme Court held that the tort of negligent hiring and supervision requires not just negligent practices on part of the employer, but also that the employee hired pursuant to those practices caused some harm to the Plaintiff.

Why This is Important

The mere evidence that conduct was inappropriate in a negligent hiring and supervision claim will not provide grounds for recovery. The Claimant must show harm as a required element to recovery for negligent hiring. A claim of negligent hiring requires that the Plaintiff suffer some damages from the foreseeable misconduct of an employee hired pursuant to the Defendant's negligent practices.

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