Claims against Employers for Employee’s Attack on Patient Survive Summary Judgment

A recent decision by the Georgia Court of Appeals in Little-Thomas v. Select Specialty Hospital-Augusta, Inc. (Case No. A15A0606), highlights how important it is for employers to be diligent in ensuring a safe workplace for employees and visitors. The plaintiffs in Little-Thomas, brought a lawsuit against Select Specialty Hospital-Augusta, Inc. (“the Hospital”) alleging negligent hiring, retention, and supervision and premises liability after Ms. Little-Thomas was sexually assaulted and raped in June 2009 by a certified nursing assistant, Mr. Butler, while she was a patient at the Hospital. After discovery, the court granted summary judgment to the Hospital and the plaintiff appealed. As d

Change to the Standard for Evaluating Excessive Force Claims … More to Come?

Overshadowed by more politicized decisions issued in the last session, the United States Supreme Court also issued an opinion affecting excessive force cases. The decision, Kingsley v. Hendrickson, 135 S.Ct. 2466 (2015), dealt with the legal standard for evaluating excessive force claims in the context of pre-trial detention. In a 5-4 decision, the Court decided that claims by pre-trial detainees are no longer subject to the same subjective standard applied to Eighth Amendment excessive force claims filed by prisoners. Instead, excessive force claims brought by pretrial detainees –under the Fourteenth Amendment – should be evaluated under an objective evidence standard. Specifically, ob

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