EMPLOYERS CAN BE HELD LIABLE FOR THE ACTIONS OF THEIR EMPLOYEES
If you have been injured because of a negligent employee, then you might have a claim against not only the careless or negligent employee but also against the employer as well. In the legal community, this concept of liability is known as vicarious liability. Vicarious liability may apply in a multitude of different cases or causes of actions. In an automobile accident case, a corporation may be held liable for a negligent act of its employee truck driver. In a medical malpractice case, the hospital may be held liable for a negligent doctor that they employed. In modern America, corporations continue to grow larger and employ more healthcare providers. That said so will vicarious liability claims.
To establish vicarious liability in an employer-employee cause of action, your lawyer must show that the employee was acting within the “Scope of Employment” at the time the negligence occurred. Florida Courts have established a three part test to determine whether an employer can be held liable for the actions of their employees. The test provides that in order for a negligent employee’s conduct to fall within the Scope of Employment, it must:
A. Have been the kind the employee or agent was employed to perform;
B. Have occurred within the time and space limits of the employment; and
C. Have been activated at least in part by a purpose to serve the employer or principal.
See Kane Furniture Corp. v. Miranda, 506 So.2d 1061 (Fla. 2nd DCA 1987)
In the State of Florida, courts have utilized this three part test to analyze whether the negligent conduct of an employee should infer liability on an employer. For example, a Truck Driver is employed by a Corporation to deliver goods for the benefit of the Corporation. While on their route to make a delivery, the Truck Driver runs through a red light and crashes into a family vehicle causing death or serious injuries. The injured family in this case may not be able to recover fully financially or emotionally based solely on the assets of the truck driver. Vicarious liability would apply because the negligent Truck Driver was employed by the Corporation, the accident occurred within the time and space limits of their employment, and the Truck Driver was delivering the goods in part for a purpose to serve the Corporation.
Other examples of vicarious liability that may not seem as readily apparent arise in the medical malpractice cases. Under Florida law, a hospital or medical practice can be held liable for the negligent care and treatment of their hired medical professionals. This concept does not only apply to a negligent physician but to other medical professionals or providers, such as nurses and hospital staff as well.
The Attorneys at Moody Law are well-equipped and are highly experienced in cases involving vicarious liability. If you believe your case may involve vicarious liability or have any questions regarding your case, please contact an attorney at Moody Law for a free consultation.