If your organization contracts out security services, the Texas Supreme Court has just handed you a substantial victory that makes it less likely you'll be liable if your independent-contractor security guard injures someone.
Since 1976, lower courts in Texas have ruled that when a business owes a duty to customers—such as the duty to not harm customers who patronize the business—that duty is of a "personal character," and it can't be contracted away through the use of an independent-contractor arrangement.
Until now, Texas companies were responsible for the actions of anyone hired to provide security, regardless of whether security providers were employees or independent contractors.
Case in point: The owners of Club Rodeo, an Austin nightclub, hired David West as an independent contractor to provide security. When an intoxicated person tried to enter the club, West tried to escort him to his car.
A struggle ensued, and West slammed the man against a wall, rendering him unconscious. The customer sued West and Club Rodeo. A jury found the club liable on the theory it had a personal duty not to injure patrons and was liable for West's acts even if he was an independent contractor who wasn't closely controlled by the club.
But the Texas Supreme Court reversed the ruling and dismissed the case against the club owners. (Fifth Club, Inc. v. Ramirez, No 04-0550, Texas Supreme Court, 2006)
Like what you've read? ...Republish it and share great business tips!
Attention: Readers, Publishers, Editors, Bloggers, Media, Webmasters and more...
We believe great content should be read and passed around. After all, knowledge IS power. And good business can become great with the right information at their fingertips. If you'd like to share any of the insightful articles on BusinessManagementDaily.com, you may republish or syndicate it without charge.
The only thing we ask is that you keep the article exactly as it was written and formatted. You also need to include an attribution statement and link to the article.
" This information is proudly provided by Business Management Daily.com: http://www.businessmanagementdaily.com/1855/employer-not-liable-for-acts-by-independent-security-staff "