Jury Awards Over $1 Million in Negligent Hiring Lawsuit Involving Workplace Violence

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Written By ESR News Blog Editor Thomas Ahearn

A jury in Texas has awarded more than $1 million in a negligent hiring lawsuit filed against a company on behalf of an employee and war hero who was killed on the job by a co-worker that claimed the company knowingly providing an unsafe workplace for employees, according to a report from The Orange Leader.

The Orange Leader reports that on April 1, 2015, at the workplace premises of Woven Metal Products, Inc., Steven Damien Young shot and killed co-worker Jacob Matthew Cadriel with a 38-caliber handgun. Young was arrested and charged with murder. He is currently serving a 45 year sentence.

The negligent hiring lawsuit claimed that Woven Metal Products – who owned the facility where both Young and Cadriel worked – failed to “conduct comprehensive employment background checks and criminal record searches on their employees,” The Orange Leader reports.

The company was negligent because it “failed listen to numerous workers at the facility who repeatedly told them about the erratic and unstable behavior of Young” and also “failed to provide any training or education on identifying and handling this type of violence behavior in the workplace.”

In 2008, Young was “arrested, charged and convicted in Harris County of the offense of carrying an illegal weapon on the jobsite.” In 2014, he was “arrested and charged in Harris County with the offense of making a terroristic threat.” He was out on bond awaiting trial when he murdered Cadriel.

The jury returned its verdict stating “Woven Metal Products were negligent and that the Woven premises were in an unreasonably dangerous condition and that they failed in their duty to warn Jacob of the highly foreseeable likelihood of harm, which contributed to Mr. Cadriel’s death.”

According to the report: Jacob Matthew Cadriel served his country in the U.S. Army from 2004 through 2009, and was active in two tours in Iraq.  He was back home in Texas, married to his high school sweetheart, and raising their 5-year-old son, Jacob Matthew Cadriel, Jr., at the time of his death.

The jury awarded for the estate of Mr. Cadriel his pain and suffering, medical bills, lost earning potential, and his wife’s loss of companionship. The story is available at www.orangeleader.com/2016/11/14/jury-awards-war-hero-over-1-million-dollars-verdict-returned-on-employee-murder-lawsuit/.

“When an employer fails to exercise due diligence and a person is harmed by an employee, that employer can be sued,” says Attorney Lester Rosen, author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual.’ “The name of the legal action is called negligent hiring, which is also referred to as the negligent hiring doctrine.”

Rosen, founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources® (ESR), explains how every employer has an obligation to exercise reasonable care for the safety of others when hiring workers. The legal description of that duty of care is called due diligence. Negligent hiring is the flip side of due diligence.

“If an employer hires someone who they either knew, or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known, was dangerous, dishonest, unfit, or unqualified for the position, and it was foreseeable that some sort of injury could happen as a result, the employer can be sued for negligent hiring,” says Rosen.

As reported by ESR News in May 2016, data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) shows that deaths related to workplace violence by co-workers is rising nationwide, as 61 people were killed by workplace violence at their jobs by a co-worker in 2014, up from 49 people killed in in 2011.

ESR Can Help Protect Employers from Negligent Hiring Lawsuits

Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) is a global screening firm accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) that provides background checks to help employers avoid “bad hires” that lead to negligent hiring lawsuits. To learn more, visit www.esrcheck.com.

NOTE: Employment Screening Resources® (ESR) does not provide or offer legal services or legal advice of any kind or nature. Any information on this website is for educational purposes only.

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