A Texas law firm recently landed a 1.2 million verdict in a wrongful death lawsuit. The case involved Jacob Matthew Cadriel who was shot at his employer Woven Metal Products by co-worker Steven Damien Young on April 1, 2015. Steven Damien Young subsequently was charged with murder and is serving a 45 year sentence. Woven Metal Products didn’t have a screening process in place for new hires, if they did it would have revealed prior convictions by Young for pulling a gun on employees at his previous employers.
The lawsuit alleges that Woven Metal Products “was negligent in knowingly providing an unsafe workplace for its employees and that the company failed to, among other things, conduct comprehensive employment background checks and criminal record searches on their employees and failed to listen numerous workers at the facility who repeatedly told them about the erratic and unstable behavior of Young.
Cadriel served his county from 2004 to 2009 with two active tours in Iraq. Unfortunately, Texas law doesn’t require background checks and does not allow evidence of previous convictions to be the basis of liability.
This is just another case of negligent hiring that should and could have been avoided by simply conducting a compliant employment background check. Employers all too often have to experience tragedy like this before the see the value in screening ALL employees.