The family of a truck driver killed in a 2008 accident in Arkansas was recently awarded $7 million in damages in a wrongful death lawsuit brought against a timber company and its truck driver in an Arkansas Federal Court, according to a press release in the Kansas City Star. A group of Kansas City-area lawyers serving as counsel for the family of the man killed in the accident argued that the timber company had negligently hired the truck driver who caused the accident without conducting a basic background search that would have quickly revealed a history of unsafe driving that included having his license revoked twice.

According to the press release, the case primarily involved the timber company truck driver’s qualifications to drive a commercial vehicle and the timber company’s failure to appropriately screen its drivers. Evidence was introduced at the trial that the timber company truck driver never should have been permitted to drive a tractor trailer since he had lied on his application and had received two license revocations, previous infractions that the timber company could have easily discovered with a simple background search that took only 15 minutes and cost $15. The deadly crash occurred only 19 days after the truck driver was negligently hired by the timber company for the driving job.

The victim was killed when the timber company truck driver’s trailer went across the center line while taking a curve in the roadway and clipped another vehicle, causing the tractor to cross the center line and strike another car head on and veer directly into the cab of the semi-truck driven by the victim, who died from his injuries an hour after the collision. The jury returned a unanimous verdict that awarded $7 million to the victim’s family and found the timber company 75 percent liable and its driver 25 percent liable.

“Background checks are a necessary step in avoiding negligent hiring,” says Attorney Les Rosen, the founder and CEO of Employment Screening Resources (ESR) and author of ‘The Safe Hiring Manual,’ a comprehensive guide to background screening. “Even after the most diligent candidate selection process, hiring someone without conducting a thorough background check can lead to major legal and financial ramifications for your company. If your new hire is dishonest about his or her education, employment or criminal history, you could face the burden of having an unqualified worker wasting time and resources or even having a violent employee in your office.”

Employers can avoid “bad hires” by practicing due diligence with background checks. If employers hire employees they knew – or in the exercise of reasonable care should have known – were dangerous, unfit, or unqualified for the position, employers can be sued for negligent hiring if injuries or death occur. To learn more about background checks, visit Employment Screening Resources (ESR) – a nationwide background check company accredited by the National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS) – at or call ESR Toll Free at 888.999.4474.

About Employment Screening Resources (ESR):
Founded in 1997 in the San Francisco, CA area,
Employment Screening Resources (ESR) literally wrote the book on background screening with “The Safe Hiring Manual” by ESR Founder and CEO Lester Rosen. ESR streamlines the screening process and reduces administrative overhead though its proprietary technology solutions.  ESR is accredited by The National Association of Professional Background Screeners (NAPBS®), a distinction held by less than two percent of all screening firms. This important recognition was achieved by successfully passing a third party audit demonstrating compliance with the NAPBS Background Screening Agency Accreditation Program. By choosing an accredited screening firm like ESR, employers know they have selected an agency that meets the highest industry standards. For more information about ESR, visit

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ESR News – provides employment screening information for employers, recruiters, and jobseekers on a variety of topics including credit reports, criminal records, data privacy, discrimination, E-Verify, jobs reports, legal updates, negligent hiring, workplace violence, and use of search engines and social network sites for background checks. For more information about ESR News or to send comments or questions, please email ESR News Editor Thomas Ahearn at [email protected].