Most of us have hired a babysitter to watch our children at one time or another. Even one of the neighborhood kids, right? But, what happens when the babysitter causes an automobile accident? You could be liable, according to a recent decision by the 3rd District Court of Appeals.
Babysitter, eighteen year-old Michael Ruhland, driving his father’s car, had just picked up William and Lori Kumbalek’s youngest child from day care when he drove through a stop sign while talking on his cell phone. The 18 year-old
teenager hit another car, killing Scott Bergene of Newton, Wisconsin. Mr. Bergene’s widow sued Michael. However, Mr. Bergene’s widow also sued William and Lori Kumbalek and their insurance company as well. Mr. Bergene’s widow claimed that Michael was in the employ of the Kumbalek’s at the time he killed her husband. As a matter of law, many times an employer can and will be sued when the employee commits the wrongful act, even if the employer did not know or approve of what the employee actually did.
If you hire a babysitter you might want to ask them what training they have and check to see if they are really licensed and insured to drive a car.