An employee pulled out a firearm in a crowded mall and has since been terminated and arrested. Someone from a surrounding business has threaded my company with legal actions. If someone wants to sue my business is that even possible?
It is always possible that your business can be sued for acts of your employees while on the job. The legal grounds are what is called Respondeat Superior meaning a business is vicariously liable for the acts of its employees while they are conducting the business of the company. That is why you, or any business owner, should make sure you have purchased liability insurance covering such possible claims. That way if a suit is filed by some person or company against your business for acts of your employees you simply hand the complaint over the insurance company to defend. In this specific situation you may have defenses such as employee was acting outside scope and authority, not on the clock at the time, etc., but doesn't keep you from being sued in the first place and having to defend a lawsuit.
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Yeah you should talk with your insurance company to see if you have coverage in the event any suit is filed. If not, I would recommend contacting private legal counsel to discuss sending a response to whomever is threatening you with a lawsuit. I think that your chances of liability are good. In that, he will likely have no liability if he was not working at that time. However, that doesn’t stop them from filing a lawsuit. So, whether it’s your insurance or a private attorney that you hire yourself, you need to contact an attorney And discuss all of the details to see what you need to do.
The advice given here is general in nature and does not create an attorney client relationship. I am not your attorney. I am licensed in Kentucky, Ohio, and federally in the E. Dist of KY, W. Dist of KY, Southern District of OH, as well as the 6th Circuit Court of Appeals. All answers are for information purposes only. You should consult counsel in your area to handle any legal matters raised in this forum. Kentucky law does not certify specialties in the practice of law. This is an Advertisement.
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