Read the scenarios and provide a written response of 75-100 words to each scenario in the space provided.
You are the chief administrator of a local youth softball league in charge of hiring coaches for the upcoming season. The coaches are not well paid, and it is difficult to get enough coaches for your eight teams. The participants in the program are young girls, ages 8 to 14. The season is fast approaching, and you need to fill the last coaching position very quickly. Finally, a man applies who has just moved to your area. He seems very personable, and he tells you that he has coached softball for the last 10 years in other youth organizations.
You are very impressed with this person’s knowledge of the sport and his outgoing personality. So you hire him without doing any reference checks. If you had done any investigation, you would have found out his last coaching position ended with accusations against him of sexual abuse of his female players. Also, if you had done a criminal background check, you would have uncovered a conviction for a sexual offense with a minor. One month after being hired, this coach sexually molests a girl on his team.
What liability can exist?
You are employed at a tennis club as the head teaching pro. According to your job descriptions, you are responsible for making sure that the assistant pros run instructional drills properly. Since you are very busy with your own lessons, you have not watched any of the drill sessions run by one of the assistant pros. If you had observed any of the drill sessions, you would have seen that the assistant pro was not following good safety practices as he set up the overhead drills. He was having students hit overheads while the people on the other side of the net were doing another drill. Someone was hit by an overhead and was seriously injured.
What liability can exist?
Bob Strong is the general manager of Fit and Well, a health and fitness club owned by Win Corporation. Strong is in charge of all employment-related matters, including hiring, firing, and disciplining employees.
Six months ago, Strong hired Adam Easton to be the club’s director of fitness. Easton came highly recommended, with superb credentials. After one week on the job, Strong received a complaint from another employee, Tammy Riley, that Easton had screamed at her for making a scheduling mistake and had essentially backed her into a corner as he screamed, using his size and strength to intimidate her. Strong listened to Riley’s story but did not investigate further and did not talk to Easton about this incident. After one month on the job, Strong received another complaint about Easton’s violent behavior from Jessica Barker, another club employee.
On this occasion, Easton screamed obscenities at Barker and grabbed her arm to emphasize a point. Strong again listened to Barker’s report but chose to do nothing, because Easton was doing a great job outside of these outbursts. Over the course of the next five months, Strong received similar complaints from five other employees and one club patron about Easton’s increasingly violent behavior. Strong once had a “chat” with Easton about the issue, but he never took any disciplinary action. In the sixth month, Easton exploded and punched one of the club’s patrons, sending her to the hospital with a broken jaw and a concussion. This patron is now going to sue Strong and Win Corporation based on Easton’s intentional tort (battery). (Note that a criminal case could also be made against Easton.)
On what bases could the patron win her lawsuit?
Lou Less, the athletic director at Cleveland High School, is reviewing bids from bus companies. The high school needs to use an outside company to transport athletes to some of the away games. The contract with the chosen company will be set up as an independent contractor relationship. The Ace Bus Company has, by far, the lowest bid for the services, and Ms. Less decides to take that bid without doing any investigation of that company. If an investigation had been undertaken, the record would have shown that several of Ace’s drivers have been cited for reckless driving or driving while intoxicated.
En route to an away basketball game, one of the buses is involved in a serious vehicular accident. It was caused by an Ace driver who was driving while under the influence of alcohol. Several of the school’s athletes are injured in the crash. And numerous lawsuits have been filed against the school district. Ms. Less feels confident that there can be no liability for the school district in this case. Because the contract with Ace Bus Company clearly designates it as an independent contractor, for which the school district has no vicarious liability.
Is Ms. Less correct in believing that there can be no school district liability here?
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