Will The Tiger Woods Lawsuit Establish Owner Liability For Torts By Employees?
You probably have heard that Tiger Woods has been sued personally in a wrongful death case. An employee/customer at Tiger’s restaurant (The Woods) drank too much in the restaurant and then died in an automobile accident as a result. The lawyer for the plaintiff, that is the estate of the guy who was killed, appears to allege (among other things) that Tiger is liable for this death because Tiger is the owner or manager of the restaurant. If this kind of liability were true, then the owners of all corporations and LLCs should worry about being held personally liable for the acts of their company’s employees.
The plaintiff’s lawyer alleges that, “Tiger was directly responsible for ensuring that his employees and management…were not over serving its employees/customers.” The lawyer then give a citation to a Florida case called White v. Wal-Mart Stores, Inc.
But in fact White v. Wal-Mart Inc. stands for the opposite conclusion! It actually says that the managers and agents of a corporation cannot be held responsible for bad acts done at the company, unless the manager or agent directly participates in the bad act.
So breath easily, if you own a corporation or LLC the Florida courts (and any others) will not hold you personally liable for the bad acts done by the company’s employees (unless of course you personally participate in the bad acts!).
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