Gibbs & Fuerst, LLP

Southern California Personal Injury & Business Lawyers

951.813.2614 Murrieta
619.618.2979 San Diego

Employers could be held liable for offsite accidents

California residents may be interested to learn that Home Depot, the popular home improvement store, will face a lawsuit that claimed that the company's negligence led to the murder of an employee by a supervisor. The U.S. Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit, in remanding the case back to the trial court, held that the company knew that the supervisor had a history of harassing lower-level female employees but still allowed him to have supervision over the female employee, who was pregnant when she was murdered.

The female employee was murdered by the male supervisor in 2012 during an offsite event. The supervisor was eventually sentenced to two life terms in prison in 2014. Home Depot argued that the company could not be held responsible as the crime was not committed on store property. However, the appellate court held that, by allowing the man to be a supervisor even knowing his history, the company did give him power over the employee. He reportedly used this power to force her to go to the offsite event.

Ultimately, the case demonstrates that employers could be held liable for offsite accidents, injuries or deaths. In another case, the court determined that the company could be held liable for supervisors' actions offsite if they use their position or authority with the intention to harm another employee even if they are not on the company's property.

When a family loses a loved one in an incident caused by another party's negligence, the survivors often face financial challenges in addition to their grief, especially when the decedent was the breadwinner. They might want to have legal assistance in seeking compensation for their losses through a wrongful death lawsuit filed against the at-fault party.

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