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Personal Injury Liability is one of the 8 Potential Liability Exposures your Business Faces every day. Recently, we've witnessed a type of Intentional tort (wth is that?) that can happen in many businesses, large or small, that you must be aware. Insurance does cover STUPIDITY!

If you've fallen off the face of the earth you may not have seen the video of Beyonce, her sister Solange, and Jay Z. Solange really takes it to Jay Z with all of it being captured on the security camera for the elevator. I won't link to it here but Google it if you're the least bit interested. 

The problem isn't so much what happened in the elevator, it's what happened after that should have all business owners worried, especially if you have video surveillance in your place of business. 

Let me explain what an Intentional Tort is so you have a better understanding.

"A wrong perpetrated by one who intends to do that which the law has declared wrong as contrasted with negligence in which the tortfeasor fails to exercise due care. There is intent to perform the act, although the tortfeasor may or may not have intended the consequences." 2013 CGL Policy, Copyright © Tilden and Associates, 1989-2012

"Intent * * * signifies that the actor desires to cause [the] consequences of his act, or that he believes that the consequences are substantially certain to result from it."
The Second Restatement of Torts § 8A

Types of Intentional Torts

  • Intentional Torts against the person
    • Assault, Battery, False Imprisonment, False arrest
  • Defamation
  • Invasion of Right of Privacy
  • Fraud
  • Interference with relationships between others
    • Trade disparagement - the belittling of another's business, products, or services with a false or misleading statement
    • Unfair competition - an action a business takes to present its own goods or services as those of a competitor by using a similar trademark, similar trade dress, or other fraudulent imitation
  • Malicious Prosecution
  • Interference with property rights
  • Nuisance

To summarize, when you have employees you have exposure to many of these intentional torts which puts your business at risk. The employee who video taped the security footage of the Beyonce, Jay Z, and Solange tussle, then made it available to the general public through the internet, invaded the right of privacy of these people. It doesn't matter who the people are everyone has the Right of Privacy. Also, have you ever heard a salesperson use a misleading or false statement against another business to try to make them and/or their company look better? I have. These kinds of actions can put your business at risk of a lawsuit. Sadly, the cost to defend yourself and your business in a lawsuit often times is more costly than the actual judgement and can put you out of business.

Make sure you have adequate, written, policies and procedures in place. Review your hiring practices; have controls in place to monitor your employees actions online and in the workplace.

Fortunately, insurance covers STUPIDITY in many cases. Unfortunately, if you're not insured properly that STUPIDITY could cost you a whole lot, even your business.

Author Richard Morris

Richard Morris, an independent insurance agent in Chandler, Arizona, has been serving and helping Arizona families and businesses with all their insurance needs for over 23 years. Visit his website at http://www.southwestpremierinsuranceagency.com to see all the ways he can help you with your insurance needs or call the office at (480) 336-2707 or toll free at (888) 907-9349. Connect with Rich on Google+ and Twitter.

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