A municipality in New York was sued for a negligent hiring and talent acquisition process after one of their employees ran over a teenager with a road grader. Attempting to clear the road of a residential area of snow, the employee, who was a supervisor for the city, failed to notice the group of teenagers walking towards their school. One of the students was run over and dragged down the street, causing significant lacerations, bruising, and internal bleeding. When writing a report, the Street Maintenance department had noted that the crash was preventable; additionally, the employee had a history of privacy violations and vehicle crashes, leading the lawsuit to question why he had continued to be hired and promoted by the city. Consequently, someone with government human resources experience who was able to discuss appropriate processes for hiring, training, and promoting for this type of government position was needed.
Question(s) For Expert Witness
- 1. Do you have experience as a government human resources employee, or with hiring and performing Human Resources duties?
Expert Witness Response E-070093
I have spent nearly forty years in federal Human Resources, seeing all operational phases of HR. I have had a background in hiring and promotion; based upon the facts provided and given this person’s checkered history, it appears that management has not done its due diligence in its selection process. As a supervisor, he is expected to hold himself to a higher standard of performance and excellence, which appears to be lacking in this case. It seems that the municipality is now vulnerable to a tort claim for negligent retention because of the injuries sustained by the teenager. In my opinion, this is a case where a mediated settlement should be attempted, and once the lawsuit has concluded the supervisor and driver may be disciplined or removed entirely.