Cartlidge v. Verizon New Jersey, Inc., 2009 WL 937206 (App. Div., April 9, 2009) – The plaintiff sued Verizon for negligent hiring and supervision after a Verizon installer exited his company vehicle and physically attacked the plaintiff in a restaurant following a verbal exchange in the street.

The Appellate Division rejected the plaintiff’s claim for negligent hiring/supervision, noting the absence of any information in the installer’s employment records that would have put Verizon on notice of the employee’s risk of harm to others in this manner. Although the employee had a prior drug conviction and several moving violations, these “could [not] reasonably have given Verizon cause for concern” that the employee would engage in the type of conduct that occurred here. The court also rejected the plaintiff’s request for a negative inference due to Verizon’s failure to locate its employee’s hiring records, as there was no indication they were intentionally hidden or destroyed.

Note: This article was published in the May 2009 issue of the New Jersey eAuthority.

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