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Louis Grandelli, P.C. Wins Appeal Expanding Employer’s Liability For Employee’s Negligence

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Friday, March 25, 2016
By Louis Grandelli

Ari R. Lieberman, an associate of Louis Grandelli, P.C., recently won an appeal in the case of Hormigas v. Village East Towers, et al., which is precedent-setting in expanding plaintiff’s rights to sue companies for the negligence of its employees. The plaintiff, Gregorio Hormigas, was injured in a motor vehicle accident in Queens when he was a pedestrian and was struck by a motor vehicle operated by an Nicomedes Sanchez, an employee of a security company, Command Security.

Command Security provided security services for a garage in Manhattan which was connected to an apartment building. The car, which was owned by a co-defendant, Robert Hernandez, was parked at the garage. The Appellate Division, relying on the evidence submitted by the plaintiff that Mr. Hernandez had told Mr. Sanchez to “look after” his car, coupled with instructions from Command Security that its employees may run errands for tenants of the apartment building, found that an issue of fact existed whether Mr. Sanchez was acting in the course of his employment when he took Mr. Hernandez’ vehicle out of the garage.

It has long been held that employers will be held vicariously liable for the negligence of its employees. Due to the Hormigas case, the plaintiff’s ability to hold defendant’s accountable for the negligence of its employees is now expanded.

The Court’s decision also had an concurring opinion, finding that Command Security can be held directly liable for its own negligence in allowing Mr. Hernandez to take Mr. Sanchez’s vehicle out of the garage.

If you or someone you know has been injured in a motor vehicle accident, contact the attorneys at Louis Grandelli, P.C.

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