Can an employer be in trouble if they knowingly send an employee home drunk and that employee gets into a car accident?

UPDATED: Oct 1, 2022

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Can an employer be in trouble if they knowingly send an employee home drunk and that employee gets into a car accident?

An employee drank before their shift and came to work intoxicated. Once the manager realized they were drunk, he said the employee needed to leave.

The employee drove away and a little while later they got into a car accident with another vehicle. Does the employer have any responsibility since they knew

the employee had been drinking and sent them home anyway?

Asked on May 23, 2018 under Accident Law, Arizona


S.L,. Member, California Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 4 years ago | Contributor

The employer is liable for negligence.  Negligence is the failure to exercise due care (that degree of care that a reasonable employer would have exercised under the same or similar circumstances to prevent foreseeable harm).  
The party not at fault in the accident could sue the employer for negligence to recover damages (monetary ciompensation) for the property damage (cost of repairs to their vehicle) and if injured in the accident, compensation for the medical bills, pain and suffering (an amount in addition to the medical bills) and wage loss.

IMPORTANT NOTICE: The Answer(s) provided above are for general information only. The attorney providing the answer was not serving as the attorney for the person submitting the question or in any attorney-client relationship with such person. Laws may vary from state to state, and sometimes change. Tiny variations in the facts, or a fact not set forth in a question, often can change a legal outcome or an attorney's conclusion. Although has verified the attorney was admitted to practice law in at least one jurisdiction, he or she may not be authorized to practice law in the jurisdiction referred to in the question, nor is he or she necessarily experienced in the area of the law involved. Unlike the information in the Answer(s) above, upon which you should NOT rely, for personal advice you can rely upon we suggest you retain an attorney to represent you.

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