Florida law requires showing a defendant’s negligent or careless actions caused a wrongful death. The court must conclude that the defendant breached a duty of care that resulted in a fatality.
If the defendant could have prevented an accident, a jury may find the individual liable for damages. When an individual acted recklessly while also performing his job, the court may hold the employer liable for the loss.
The complaint must describe the breach of care
A Florida resident filed a wrongful death action against a pool supply company. In her complaint, she alleged an employee operating a company truck while intoxicated struck and killed her husband.
As reported by the Tampa Bay Times, the company knew its employee had a history of drinking, but provided him with a service truck and sent him to customers’ homes anyway. The widowed plaintiff asserts the company could have prevented her loss if it listened to a previous customer’s complaint concerning the pool service technician’s drunken behavior.
Allegedly, the employee made a previous house call, and after completing the work, the homeowner found him “slumped over” in his truck. After waking him and finding him noticeably intoxicated, the homeowner filed a grievance with the company. Rather than taking action, however, the company reportedly continued to send the employee to clients’ homes.
An employer may face liability for its employee’s actions
As noted by the Society for Human Resource Management, employers should take action and discipline or terminate employees found acting recklessly. If a jury finds a company breached its duty by enabling an employee to violate Florida’s drunken driving laws and endanger the safety of others, it could hold the employer responsible for any resulting harm.