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Ely
Ely, Counselor at Law
Category: Legal
Satisfied Customers: 100029
Experience:  Private practice with focus on family, criminal, PI, consumer protection, and business consultation.
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Im not sure if the category I selected is correct. We hired

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I'm not sure if the category I selected is correct. We hired a contractor to do work in our home. One of his employees subsequently broke into our home and robbed us of over $25,000 in jewelry and other personal items. Arrests have been made, and they will be prosecuted. Do we have any ground on which to go back to our contractor -- he failed to do background checks in his employees, failed to properly supervise them while in our home, and as a result this employee "cased" our home and targeted us for this crime. The pain and suffering and loss of personal property is significant. what legal recourse do we have? Thank you.
Hello friend. My name is XXXXX XXXXX welcome to JustAnswer. Please note: (1) this is general information only, not legal advice, and, (2) there may be a slight delay between your follow ups and my replies.

You are in the correct category.

I am very sorry for what has happened to you.

Do we have any ground on which to go back to our contractor -- he failed to do background checks in his employees, failed to properly supervise them while in our home, and as a result this employee "cased" our home and targeted us for this crime. The pain and suffering and loss of personal property is significant. what legal recourse do we have?

You may. You may have a case against the contractor under the doctrines of respondeat superior and negligence. Allow me to explain.

Under the doctrine of respondeat superior, the employer is responsible for their employees' actions if the actions arise within the scope of the employment. Hogan v. Forsyth Country Club Co., 340 SE 2d 116 - NC: Court of Appeals 1986. Now technically, the employee breaking into the home was not during the scope of employment. However, the employee no doubt planned this attack during his employment, which allows for a leeway to at least bring this action.

Negligence is much more wide in scope. It is well established that in order to prevail in a negligence action, plaintiffs must offer evidence of the essential elements of negligence: duty, breach of duty, proximate cause, and damages. Lamm v. Bissette Realty, Inc., 327 N.C. 412, 395 S.E.2d 112 (1990). "Duty" can mean anything - it can mean a duty that is established in law, or a duty that society feels should be owed. Your case may focus on the latter, i.e. the duty that society feels should be owed. While there is no law that the employer MUST do a background check, the jury may believe that the contractor was nonetheless negligent in that he should have if he knew or should have noticed warning signs.

In summary, you may indeed have a case, although an attorney is recommended, of course. May I recommend the NC Bar referral program - here. The attorneys are vetted and qualified. You should be able to find an attorney you are confident with and whom you can trust, and who is available ASAP.

I hope this helps and clarifies. Good luck.

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