Personal Injury Law
LegalSpeak: Rucshner v. ADT Security Systems (Wash. App. 2009)
To prove negligent hiring, the plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) the employer knew or, in the exercise of ordinary care, should have known of the employee’s unfitness at the time of hiring; and (2) the negligently hired employee proximately caused the plaintiff’s injury….
Rucshner argues that PSP’s agreement with ADT created a duty to customers such as MH, which PSP breached by failing to conduct Robinson’s criminal background check and drug screening. We agree….
Rucshner also argues that PSP negligently hired Robinson because it knew, or should have known, that employing Robinson without conducting a criminal background check posed a risk of harm to its customers. We have already held that a genuine issue of material fact exists as to PSP’s contractual duty to perform criminal background checks on its employees. Nevertheless, we also reach Rucshner’s causation argument to point out that a genuine issue of material fact also exists on the issue of foreseeability of harm of the type that Robinson caused here.