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Colorado Supreme Court Ruling is a Victory for Consumers

By Heidi Culbertson
September 27, 2021
3 min read

The Colorado Supreme Court ruled today in Brown v. Long Romero, 2021 CO 67, that a trial court erred in dismissing negligent hiring claims against an employer for failing to use reasonable care in hiring an employee who was also sued for the wrongful death of a child. This victory for Colorado’s consumers ensures that employers cannot escape liability for failing to screen who they hire. It also protects Colorado consumers from employers’ negligent retention and negligent/failure to train employees to do their jobs in a safe manner. Recently, the Colorado General Assembly also acted on this issue for future cases that arise against employers. Together, today’s decision and the new law mean that people who are injured at the hands of another can hold that other person’s employer responsible when the employer has failed to use reasonable care in hiring, training, and retaining employees. For example, this means a bar that hires a bouncer without screening the bouncer’s past and who retains the bouncer without proper training and without regard to the bouncer’s actions that harm others or could harm others on the job can be forced to take responsibility for those decisions if the employer won’t take responsibility on its own. And a taxi company that unreasonably hires a dangerous driver with a record of dangerous driving or that unreasonably keeps a dangerous driver or fails to train its driver can be held accountable if it refuses to take responsibility for its bad decisions. And in the case of Brown, the hospital can be held accountable if a jury finds that it unreasonably hired and retained a nurse-midwife.

Burg Simpon attorney Nelson Boyle co-wrote an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief in Brown. He also helped draft a bill that passed the legislature in 2021 on this subject.

Click HERE for the link to the opinion on the Court’s website:

About Nelson Boyle

Nelson Boyle is an attorney at Burg Simpson who practices in appeals and commercial litigation. Boyle is Chair Emeritus of the Colorado Trial Lawyers Association’s Amicus Curiae Committee and serves on CTLA’s Board of Directors.

About Burg Simpson

Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine is one of the nation’s foremost plaintiff trial firms. Founded in 1976, the firm has a reputation for fighting relentlessly and successfully for victims of negligence, malfeasance, malpractice, and abuse.  To date, Burg Simpson has secured more than $1 billion in verdicts, settlements, and judgments in practice areas spanning catastrophic personal injury, mass tort and class actions regarding dangerous pharmaceutical drugs and devices, medical malpractice, complex commercial and business litigation, construction defects, and workers’ compensation. The firm’s success has also included more than 200 recoveries in excess of $1 million.

Burg Simpson was founded over four decades ago by distinguished American trial lawyer Michael S. Burg. Mr. Burg has been consistently recognized by his peers as a Super Lawyer, and a Best Lawyer in America. He is also an inductee in the Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame and a recipient of the Clarence Darrow Award. Additionally, Michael Burg has been named to the 2016 RoundTable, America’s 50 Most Influential Trial Lawyers by The Trial Lawyer magazine, Law Week’s “Barrister’s Best” as “Best Civil Litigator”, and one of “America’s 50 Leading Trial Lawyers” by the U.S. Legal 500. Burg Simpson Eldredge Hersh & Jardine now has more than 70 lawyers and over 90 legal professionals. The firm is based in Colorado and has offices in Arizona, Florida, Nevada, New Mexico, Ohio, and Wyoming.

 

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