You can read all of our articles on our website. Having trouble getting our emails?   Change your spam controls and whitelist 

Cable company held liable for $7 billion for repairman’s murder
August 16, 2022
Cable company held liable for $7 billion for repairman’s murder
          A cable repairman showed up at a home without an appointment scheduled and robbed and murdered an 83 year old grandmother.  Jury awarded $337 million for compensatory damages and $7 billion in punitive damages.  The cable company will appeal.  While jury awards on liability and damages are not easily overturned it’s not uncommon for an appeals court to direct a lower amount or give the Plaintiff the option of accepting a lower amount or face a new trial.
          The issue is one common to the alarm industry and every industry that sends employees to customer premises.          
          The general rule of thumb is that an employer is not liable for illegal acts of an employee acting outside the scope of employment.  So even if your employee is wearing your logo sweatshirt and company uniform, if the employee commits a crime unrelated to the employment, there is no liability.
          All illegal acts should be considered outside the scope of employment when it comes to repairmen.  But while the employer may not be liable for the illegal acts on the theory of “respondeat superior” the employee can be liable for “negligent hiring”.  Since the employer placed the employee in a position to commit the illegal act [ie enter the premises under the guise of performing repair work] and the employee does commit the illegal act while ostensibly acting without the scope of employment, the employer can be held liable for negligent hiring.  [of course an employer is liable for negligent acts of employees acting in scope of employment under “respondeat superior”] 
          According to news reports had the employee’s employment history been investigated he would not have been hired.
          In many states the licensing agency does the background check on the prospective employee, though that may be limited to criminal convictions.  There are other reasons besides criminal conviction for not hiring employees who will be entering the premises of customers or given access to sensitive security information.  Some investigation of potential employees is necessary and in the alarm industry the sensitivity merits additional scrutiny.
          Thanks to Bart Didden, USA Central Station, for bringing this case and topic to my attention.

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreements click here:

To order up to date Standard Form Alarm /  Security / Fire and related Agreements click here:
CONCIERGE LAWYER SERVICE PROGRAM FOR THE ALARM INDUSTRY You can check out the program and sign up here: or contact our Program Coordinator Stacy Spector, Esq at 516 747 6700 x 304.
ALARM ARTICLES:  You can always read our Articles on our website at  updated daily             
THE ALARM EXCHANGE - the alarm industries leading classified and business exchange - updated daily
Wondering how much your alarm company is worth?  
Click here:
Getting on our Email List / Email Articles archived: 
    Many of you are forwarding these emails to friends or asking that others be added to the list.  Sign up for our daily newsletter here: Sign Up.  You can read articles and order alarm contracts on our web site

Ken Kirschenbaum,Esq
Kirschenbaum & Kirschenbaum PC
Attorneys at Law
200 Garden City Plaza
Garden City, NY 11530
516 747 6700 x 301