If I work at a facility for teenage boys with behavioral problems and they do damage to the cars of staff, what recourse do we have for making the agency either pay the damages or getting an enclosed parking lot?

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If I work at a facility for teenage boys with behavioral problems and they do damage to the cars of staff, what recourse do we have for making the agency either pay the damages or getting an enclosed parking lot?

It happens occasionally that the boys will get angry and target a staffs vehicle and damage it. The boys are often young and are not able to be arrested, and therefore not forced to pay for damages. The agency claims that they are not legally responsible for damages either, and we have to claim it on our insurance. I feel that the agency’s property insurance should be charged. The agency claims that we sign a paper on hire that states that they are not liable, but no ones recalls ever signing this paper.

Asked on October 26, 2015 under Employment Labor Law, New York

Answers:

SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

If the boys do the damage because they are improperly supervised by the agency, then the agency may be liable for the costs: they would be liable due to their own negligence or carelessness (the failure to properly supervise minors in their charge who clearly and reasonably represent a risk). If your agency will not pay, you could sue them for the money--that would be the only way to get it from them, unfortunately, and suing your employer is clearly not a step to take lightly. Furthermore, *if* you did sign anything stating that they would not be liable for such damage, such an agreement is legal and enforceable and they would not have to pay; if you sue them and they can produce such a document, that would be a good defense to their liability.


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