George's Employment Blawg examines a sad case that tests the boundaries of negligent hiring:
In Phillips v. TLC Plumbing, Inc., 172 Cal.App.4th 1133 (2009), a plumbing company hired a plumber in 1999, although it knew he had been convicted of domestic violence and/or arson involving his ex-wife.
Four years later, in 2003, the plumber performed a service call at a woman’s home. The plumber and the woman started a relationship that eventually turned romantic. About a month after this service call, the company terminated the plumber’s employment for misuse of a company vehicle, drug and alcohol use, and an allegation of threatening a co-worker.
In 2005, the woman ended the relationship and applied for a restraining order against the plumber. The plumber shot and killed her and was convicted of her murder.