West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals Rules in Favor of Small Businesses

Date: June 09, 2023

Speedway v. Jarrett concerned whether employers are liable for an employee’s unforeseen actions outside of work

CHARLESTON, W.Va. (June 9, 2023)NFIB is pleased with the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals’ decision in Speedway LLC v. Jarrett. The Court reversed the lower court, concluding that Speedway did not have a legal duty to control the actions of its employees. In this case, the employee was involved in a car accident after work and off premises while under the influence of illegally obtained prescription medicine, resulting in the death of another individual.

“Small business owners care for their employees but are ultimately not responsible for their actions and personal conduct outside of work nor are they empowered to act as law enforcement,” said Beth Milito, Executive Director of NFIB’s Small Business Legal Center. “This decision confirms that an employer is not liable for an employee’s wrongful conduct outside of work simply because of that person’s association with the business. NFIB applauds the West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals ruling.”

NFIB filed an amicus brief in the case with the American Tort Reform Association, Chamber of Commerce of the United States, National Association of Convenience Stores, and American Property Casualty Insurers Association.

The NFIB Small Business Legal Center protects the rights of small business owners in the nation’s courts. NFIB is currently active in more than 40 cases in federal and state courts across the country and in the U.S. Supreme Court.

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