Could I be personally liable in a lawsuit for my work? 31 Answers as of September 19, 2012

I perform different jobs for my employer, electrical, plumbing, etc. If something happened causing a lawsuit pertaining to that work can I be personally named in that lawsuit? Could I be held liable?

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Cody and Gonillo, LLP
Cody and Gonillo, LLP | Christine Gonilla
usually the owner of the business is sued
Answer Applies to: Connecticut
Replied: 8/5/2011
Law Offices of Tom Patton
Law Offices of Tom Patton | Thomas C. Patton
You could be named, but you would likely not be personally liable. Provided you were engaged in your job duties, the legal theory of respondiate superiore will apply, and your employers insurance will cover the loss.
Answer Applies to: Oregon
Replied: 8/4/2011
The S.E. Farris Law Firm
The S.E. Farris Law Firm | Spencer E. Farris
Yes, you can be personally named. However, I wouldn't sweat it. If you were on the job, your company's insurance will cover you. Your homeowner's insurance may also provide coverage, but it is unlikely. Unless your actions were malicious or intentional, the chances of anyone enforcing a judgment against you are slim as you would file bankruptcy before you let that happen. So, while the chance of being named in a suit is good, the chance of ever paying anything out of your own pocket is minimal.
Answer Applies to: Missouri
Replied: 8/4/2011
David F. Stoddard
David F. Stoddard | David F. Stoddard
You do not say whether the work is for the employers business premises, or if the work is for customers. If the work is for the boss's premises and you are concerned about coworkers being injured, you cannot be sued for this. Their exclusive remedy is to bring a workers comp claim against the employer. If your are doing work for customers, you could be sued if you are negligent and cause an injury to someone. However, the employer would also be liable for your actions . Usually, in such a case, suit is filed only against the employer, and the employer likely has insurance to for any accidents caused by his employees.
Answer Applies to: South Carolina
Replied: 8/5/2011
The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield
The Law Firm of Reed & Mansfield | Jonathan C. Reed
Yes. If the claim is that you did some work negligently that cause injury to someone else, you could be sued. Usually, if the employer has insurance or is a large business the employee is not personally sued, but the employee can be.
Answer Applies to: Nevada
Replied: 8/5/2011
    Law Office of Jared Altman
    Law Office of Jared Altman | Jared Altman
    Yes.
    Answer Applies to: New York
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator
    Bernard Huff, Attorney/Mediator | Bernard Huff
    If you were negligent or your action which caused the injury was intentional, you possibly could be held liable. You should at least consult with a local accident or personal injury attorney who represents defendants.
    Answer Applies to: Indiana
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC
    Wilson & Hajek, LLC | Eddie W. Wilson
    You can be named but as an agent of the employer the employer bears the brunt of the action. That holds true if you performed your duties in an acceptable and workman like manner.
    Answer Applies to: Virginia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Goolsby Law Office
    Goolsby Law Office | Richard Goolsby
    Yes, it s possible that anyone could be sued for negligence, or gross negligence or intentional torts. Hopefully, your company would be named instead, but you might want to see if there is any insurance coverage available. Good luck.
    Answer Applies to: Georgia
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A.
    Paul Whitfield and Associates P.A. | Paul L. Whitfield
    If your negligence causes injury to a third party both you and your boss would be liable
    Answer Applies to: North Carolina
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A.
    Kelaher Law Offices, P.A. | James P Kelaher
    If you personally were negligent, then you personally can be named in the lawsuit. However, I virtually never name individuals in lawsuits if they were in the course and scope of their employment when they were negligent, because the employer typically is the one with the insurance. There have been instances where I have named the individual, but they are extremely rare. If you are named personally in the lawsuit, spend the few dollars and hire an attorney just to keep an eye on things, not to actively represent you. That lawyer would be called "personal counsel" and the lawyer representing your employer would be the one who would actively represent you.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Dearbonn Law Offices
    Dearbonn Law Offices | Ajibola Oluyemisi Oladapo
    you and your employers will be jointly and severally liable for any intentional act or omission causing injury to a third party in the course of your employment. Even if it was not intentional, if you injured a third party while working for your employers, you and your employers will be joined i.e. named in any such suit that may be brought against you. Please note that this is not legal advise and should not be construed as such.
    Answer Applies to: Washington
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm
    The Torkzadeh Law Firm | Reza Torkzadeh
    Where the injuries are due to the carelessness of a third person or company that does not employ the worker, the injured worker is free to sue such third person or company without being limited by workers compensation laws to the amount he or she can recover. For instance, if a worker is injured in an automobile accident while running a job-related errand, he or she has the right to collect workers compensation benefits from his or her employer. If the accident was the result of another driver who does not work for the same company, the injured worker can sue the driver of the other vehicle for all of his or her injuries and damages, including medical expenses, lost wages, pain and suffering, and other damages.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 9/19/2012
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    The Law Office of Harry E. Hudson, Jr. | Harry E. Hudson, Jr.
    Need more information.
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A.
    Ewusiak & Roberts, P.A. | Christopher J. Roberts
    Generally, the answer is yes but your employer probably has insurance that would cover you as an employee. If you are concerned about it, you should ask him/her about what kind of insurance exists to protect you from a lawsuit.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 2/20/2012
    Kirshner & Groff
    Kirshner & Groff | Richard M. Kirshner
    Yes
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC
    Klisz Law Office, PLLC | Timothy J. Klisz
    No. You are covered by them and their insurance. Dont worry.
    Answer Applies to: Michigan
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC
    Law Office of Travis Prestwich, PC | Travis Prestwich
    At least theoretically, yes, that could happen. However, your employer probably has insurance coverage that would protect you. This falls under the legal theory of "course and scope." In essence you are acting on behalf of the employer and, therefore, he can become responsible for your actions so long as they are not intentional. However, you could be sued individually as well.
    Answer Applies to: Oregon
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo
    Law Office of Mark J. Leonardo | Mark Leonardo
    Yes you can you sued, but your employer is obligated to defend you ( i.e., pay for an attorney).
    Answer Applies to: California
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Allen Murphy Law
    Allen Murphy Law | W. Riley Allen
    Depends, but yes. Typically, however, as long as you are in the course and scope of your employment and don't do anything too outrageous you should be okay and your employer's insurance will cover for your potential liability.
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    David Hoines Law
    David Hoines Law | David Hoines
    as long as what you do is the scope of your employment, your employer and yourself are responsible you can be personally named in a lawsuit
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates
    Cary J. Wintroub & Associates | Sheldon J. Aberman
    You could be named in any suit, based upon your alleged negligent work. However, your employer's liability policy should cover any and all work that you performed, as it's agent, provided that the work was done within the course and scope of your employment.
    Answer Applies to: Illinois
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC
    Lacy Fields, Attorney at Law, LLC | Lacy Fields
    You bet. If you are an independent contractor and you were negligent, the lawsuit could be against you. Conversely the person could sue your "employer" and he could bring you into the lawsuit. It will all depend on whether you were acting as an agent for your employer at the time, or whether you were acting as an independent contractor.
    Answer Applies to: Missouri
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    LT Pepper Law
    LT Pepper Law | Luke T. Pepper
    More than likely are ok because this was done within the scope of your employment. An exception may be that if you were not licensed to do the work. The employer would bear the liability if you did it within the scope of your employment.
    Answer Applies to: Pennsylvania
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm
    Bulman Law Associates PLLC Injury Law Firm | Thomas Bulman
    You might be named if the plaintiff knew your name. Ultimately, your employer would be financially responsible for the damage you caused if you were doing what you were told. Since you don't have insurance, the plaintiff is likely to not name you so the jury doesn't have sympathy for the poor working stiff sitting next to the rich owner in court. You would have to testify if a lawsuit was filed. You probably could get the plaintiff to promise not to collect anything from you even if you are drug into the lawsuit by your employer. However, if the city or county inspectors found out at the time, there is a slight chance they might have fined you individually. I don't think that is happening in Montana unless the offender repeats.
    Answer Applies to: Montana
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC
    Law Office of Russell D. Gray, PC | Russell D. Gray
    If you harm someone intentionally or through negligent, depending on how the harm occurs, you could be liable. However, it is more likely your employer would be held liable. The issue you raise is very fact-specific and you would need to consult an attorney about specific issues if you want a more definite answer.
    Answer Applies to: Utah
    Replied: 8/4/2011
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates
    Lyle B. Masnikoff and Associates | Lyle B. Masnikoff
    Yes but they will likely only care about suing the employer and their insurance since they are the deep pocket
    Answer Applies to: Florida
    Replied: 8/4/2011
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