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$7 Million Awarded to Family of Victim in Negligent Hiring Case

How can pre-employment back ground checks for all new hires avert the consequences of negligent hiring?

The family of an Arkansas truck driver killed in a 2008 accident was recently awarded $7 million in damages from a timber company and their driver who caused the accident. The case involved the driver’s qualifications to operate a commercial vehicle and the company’s failure to screen his driving records when hired. When making the decision to hire the truck driver, the timber company did so without conducting even a basic background check. The driver lied on his application about not having a driving record and the company never verified his credentials. Had the company spent the $15 to complete a simple background search, they would have discovered that he had his licence revoked twice due to a history of hazardous driving, never hired him, and avoided this $7 Million settlement.

When a new hire is dishonest about their qualifications and the dishonesty is undiscovered, employers face the burden of the employees draining their resources (the aftermath of legal claims). Not all risks can be measured in dollars alone. Consider loss of talent, loss of morale, loss of reputation. By law, an employer must exercise due diligence in hiring to ensure that people selected do not pose a threat to others. Poor hiring decisions can have long-term financial and legal consequences for employers and other employees. Pre-employment screening can significantly reduce the risks.

Pre-employment screening is more than a quick check of an applicant’s criminal record as it is necessary is to properly identify the applicant and that they are who they say they are. Many factors go into selecting the correct applicant for the job. Selecting the wrong candidate will cost the employer. What are you willing to pay for hiring the wrong person?

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