The NFIB Small Business Legal Center has filed an amicus brief with the state Supreme Court saying that employers shouldn’t be held liable for something an employee does after work and off-site.
The brief was filed in the case of Speedway LLC v. Deborah L. Jarrett. Mrs. Jarrett’s husband was killed in 2015 when a Speedway employee driving home after work struck Mr. Jarrett on his motorcycle. A jury entered a judgment of over $2 million against Speedway, holding the company 30% at fault.
In the amicus brief filed today, the NFIB Small Business Legal Center said, “The Circuit Court misapplied West Virginia law when it imposed a duty on Speedway to control the actions of an employee who had a motor vehicle accident, after work and off premises, while under the influence of illegally obtained prescription drugs.”
NFIB State Director Gil White said, “This is a heartbreaking case, but this accident happened after work. It didn’t happen on company property. If the jury award is allowed to stand, it would set a troubling legal precedent that would hold employers liable for actions they didn’t cause and individuals they couldn’t control. That’s why the NFIB Small Business Legal Center is urging the state Supreme Court to overturn the jury award in this case.”
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.