Dunaway Timber Company hired Morgan Quisenberry as a tractor trailer operator for their organization in September of 2008. Nineteen days after being hired, Morgan Quisenberry’s tractor trailer crossed the center line and veered head on with Reagan’s semi-truck. Roger Reagan was instantly killed by the impact of the accident. Had Dunaway Timber Company not been negligent in their hiring practices, Roger Reagan would still be alive today and enjoying the holiday season with his loved ones.
If Dunaway Timber Company had taken the initiative to perform a simple background check on Morgan Quisenberry, they would have learned that Quisenberry’s license has been suspended twice already for substance abuse, which he lied about on his employment application.
A federal court found Dunaway Timber Company and Morgan Quisenberry guilty of negligence and awarded Reagan’s family seven million dollars to compensate for their loss. The plaintiff’s attorney argued, “We all expect trucking companies who send truck drivers out onto the public roads to do so with professional, competent people and then make sure the company trains them and monitors them. But this was an example where a company hired someone who had no business driving a truck in the first place, and then blatantly ignored the regulations that govern the trucking industry.”
How many of these stories will take place before employers realize the importance of conducting employment background checks on every new hire? If any organization wants to stay in business and avoid negligent hiring liabilities, having an effective background screening policy is an absolute necessity.