Security National Bank & Trust (SNB) is responsible for a manager who literally kicked a customer out of the Medway branch office, the Ohio Court of Appeals has ruled.
During a heated dispute, the customer accused the manager of doctoring her bank statements. The manager yelled at her to “get out.” When she refused, he took her by the arm and tried to forcibly remove her. She hit him and he fell into his desk. As she walked away, the manager followed and kicked her from behind. A fistfight ensued.
The bank argued that the manager had abandoned his duties and was merely venting “his own malevolence.” The appeals court ruled that the manager acted within the scope of his employment.
The court upheld summary judgment for SNB on a negligent hiring claim, however, finding that nothing in the manager’s employment record indicated a violent temper.
Advice: If you haven’t already, train anyone who has contact with the public in conflict-resolution skills. Employees need to know how to handle irate customers without escalating situations. For example, the manager in this case could have easily called security to handle the angry customer.