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Q: One hot summer day, a police officer crossed a line with my son, at their home, and then crossed it with herself.  Over the years, I had made many complaints to the City about my daughter-in-law’s abusive conduct.  If only they had fired her, or at least taken away her firearm.

A: Under the theory of negligent hiring and retention, an employer may be liable for the acts of an employee even when she acts outside the scope of her employment.  The court must determine whether your son was a foreseeable victim – whether he was within the zone of danger created by the City’s acts or omissions.

Your case is that the City should have become aware that your daughter-in-law possessed violent propensities, but failed to take further action.  This negligent retention or supervision resulted in her possessing a dangerous weapon, and your daughter-in-law was likely to use the weapon in a manner involving unreasonable risk of physical harm to her husband.

The City had a duty not to entrust a gun to a dangerous or incompetent police officer.  If it did, it had a duty to abate the risk.  The City is liable for placing and keeping your daughter-in-law in a position where she could harm others, even off-duty.  If the facts are only as you state, by training and arming your daughter-in-law, and by allowing her to retain her weapon, the City both created the danger and kept your son in a state of vulnerability.

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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