Negligent Hiring and Entrustment
In the case of Diaz, v. Jose Carcamo, Diaz sustained serious injuries after being struck by car that had been forced over the center line after having collided with a truck. Jose Carcamo was the truck driver and worked for a sugar transporting company. The plaintiff alleged that it was vicariously liable for accident on the basis that they were Carcamo’s employer. She went on further to allege that the company should take liability for negligence in hiring and retaining Carcamo. The jury in their ruling awarded compensation for damages incurred by the appellant against each of the defendant: Jose Carcamo, the car driver (Karen Tagliaferri) and Sugar Transport Company.
Principal agency relationships
Principal agent relationships define the arrangement between two or more people. The agent acts on behalf of the principal (Dobbs, 2001). The relationship between the principal and the agent can be contractual, implying that the agent operates under the directions of the employer but he can make contracts with third parties. Any employee working under them operates under directives from the agent on behalf of the employer. If the relationship is that of an independent contractor, the employer is not liable for the actions of the contractor. For general agent’s relationships, the agent has authority to perform transactions on behalf of the employer (Laffont, &Martimort, 2009). The general agent is allowed to alter the existing relationship between the principal and the third party. The principal can control the relationship with the third party by limiting the authority of the general agent. In the case of a special agent, the agent has authority to act on behalf of the principal in a special way. The relationship is defined by the nature of the transaction. For an agency coupled with interest, the agent gains from continued transactions with the principal.
The relationship between JoseCarcamo and his employer was created through agreement. He was hired by the company on the basis that he met the job description requirements. It was the duty of the company to carry out an intensive background search on the character and past record of the person that they were hiring. The company should have been aware that Jose Carcamo had a history of poor driving and had also been charged with manslaughter after he had been involved in a road accident. By hiring Jose Carcamo, the company took liability for his past records and his future performance in the course of duty while working for them. As an agent for Sugar Transport, Jose Carcamo acted directly on behalf of the company and his employer held vicarious liability for his actions.
Proposed course of action
Given the current situation and the existing lawsuit, it is recommended that the company should file an appeal to contest the charged filed against them. The appellant had alleged that the employer had been negligent while hiring Jose Carcamo. The prosecution had used his history as evidence to prove that he had a history of bad driving and had even been charged with dangerous driving in the past. They had argued that Sugar Transport had not considered his background before hiring him and should therefore take responsibility for their actions. Sugar Transport Company should contest the use of Jose Carcamo’s history as evidence admissible in court. They should argue that they were not liable in any way for the actions of their employees outside their place of work which includes their histories. The appeal should be aimed at having the court quash the judgment of the lower court that they were vicariously liable.
Role of the Sugar Transport’s Human Resources department in hiring employees
The Sugar Transport’s Human Resources department bears some significant amount of responsibility in hiring Jose Carcamo. The HR department has the role of establishing the minimum qualifications for the people they hire in terms of qualifications, ethical standards and job requirements (Moran, 2008). To achieve this, the department should conduct a background search on their employees and establish whether they meet the required criteria for the job. Failure to do so can be problematic to the company in future in case the past record comes in later in the course of their work. For the employees, they have a civil and legal duty to disclose information pertaining their past work records and character (Speiser, Krause, &Gans, 2003). Failure to do so can play a large part in civil proceedings where they can be accused of withholding crucial information. It would be important for the HR department to establish strategies for dealing with such situations. For instance in the case of Jose Carcamo, his history of negligence as a driver came to play a huge role after he caused an accident while he was working for his employer. In doing so, the company may be liable for negligent hiring and retention of employees and endangering the lives of other people.
Dobbs, D. B. (2001). The law of torts (Vol. 2). West Group.
Laffont, J. J., &Martimort, D. (2009). The theory of incentives: the principal-agent model. Princeton university press.
Moran, J. J. (2008). Employment law: New challenges in the business environment. Pearson Prentice Hall.
Speiser, S. M., Krause, C. F., &Gans, A. W. (2003). The American law of torts (Vol. 1).Lawyers Co-operative Pub.Co.