Who is legally responsible ?

UPDATED: Sep 30, 2022

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Who is legally responsible ?

Hired a national moving company College Hunks in West Knoxville, TN for a local move, move was completed on 12/20 without a hitch. Paid 1300 for the move once the move was complete. 6 days later, 12/26, I receive an alert message from Citibank asking me about fraudulent activity on my credit card, go looking for the credit card, is no longer in my desk drawer. I immediately filed a police report, come to find out this individual has a rap sheet a mile long. Convicted Felon, etc. Asked the company about their background check policy before hiring an employee, they told me a background check was completed, and nothing was found. Even the Detective on the case found that hard to believe. Am I legally allowed to go after the moving company civily for retribution? Is the moving company responsible monetarily for me having to shut down all my credit cards, closing my bank account due to missing personal checks from my next book of checks, etc? The investigating detective at Knoxville PD told me to send a bill to the moving company for the hours I spent cancelling credit cards, pulling my credit reports, cancelling my bank accounts due to missing blank checks.
The detective said if he doesn’t respond to my bill for my time, to file a civil lawsuit against the company? Would I stand a chance of winning? I don’t want my money refunded for the move, because for the most part it was successful, I would like money for the hours I spent closing all of my credit card accounts and checking accounts.

Thank you for your time.

Asked on January 3, 2017 under Business Law, Tennessee


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 5 years ago | Contributor

The detective is wrong. A business is generally NOT responsible or liable for the criminal actions of its employees, since the vast majority of criminal acts are not part of the job or what the employee was hired to do; employers are generally only liable for employee acts which are essentially part of their employment--but misappropriating your credit card was not part of his job. You could sue the thief himself for any monetary losses (any not reimbursed or absorbed by the credit card company), but only for the monetary losses; the law does not.provide compensation for your time or inconvenience. Snd of course, since he is a criminal, it may be very difficult to make him pay.

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