Northern Virginia, Virginia

HomeVirginiaNorthern Virginia

Email Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Ben Glass
Attorney • (703) 584-7277

Negligent Hiring in Virginia

Comments Off

The tort of ‘negligent hiring’ was first recognized by Virginia in 1921. The Supreme Court of Virginia said in a very old case that the “hospital owed a duty of due care in selection and retention of its employees.” In 1922 a gateman at a railroad crossing shot a woman passenger in a car. The court found “ample evidence tending to prove that the assailant was a man who would become highly incensed over a simple matter and get dangerously angry from a slight provocation. When interviewed for the job no one made inquiry regarding his past record, habits or general fitness for the position.

The court said that, ‘the employment of an improper person to come into contact with the public as the railroad’s agent was gross misconduct.’ The doctrine of negligent hiring is negligently placing an unfit person in an employment situation involving an unreasonable risk of harm to others.

The cause of action is based on the principle that one who conducts an activity through employees is subject to liability for harm resulting from the employee’s conduct if the employer is negligent in the hiring of an improper person in work involving an unreasonable risk of harm to others. Liability is predicated on the negligence of an employer in placing a person with known propensities or propensities that should have been discovered by reasonable investigation, in an employment position in what, because of the circumstances of the employment it should have been foreseeable that the individual hired posed a threat of injury to others.