Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Are Employers Liable for the Acts of their Employees in Nevada?

If you are injured at a casino, due to the intentional act of an employee, is the casino liable? The answer is yes, in Nevada, if a jury finds the act was “reasonably foreseeable”. In a recent case, Mandalay Bay was sued, when a woman was assaulted in her hotel room by a hotel employee. See Anderson v. Mandalay Corp., 131 Nev.Ad.Op. 82 (2015). 

In that case, a female hotel guest was asleep in her Mandalay Bay hotel room.  While she was sleeping, an employee, with hotel room keycard access, entered her room and sexually assaulted her. What makes this case so egregious, is that the employee had a history of bad behavior and Mandalay Bay still gave him access to guestrooms.  

The Nevada high court said that employers are vicariously liable for employees’ intentional harms if the injured person can show the intentional conduct was “reasonably foreseeable under the facts and circumstances of the case considering the nature and scope of [the employee’s] employment.” NRS 41.745(1)(c).

In the Mandalay Bay example, prior to the assault, the employee had been suspended for harassing and making threats to a female supervisor. Also, other Mandalay Bay staff had previously physically assaulted hotel guests, by similarly misusing their hotel key cards. The court found based upon this pattern of behavior by hotel staff, the sexual assault by the employee was foreseeable. 

Next time, we will discuss the state of Driver-less cars in Nevada.