New information has risen surrounding a 59-year-old high school teacher that has been charged with sexually assaulting a female student since she was 16 years old. According to the new information that has become available, the teacher – Hector Vasquez – had been previously fired after being determined to be a danger to any children (students) in his proximity.
Vasquez, a Spanish teacher at Westmoor High School (in Daly City), pleaded not guilty to felony charges of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor, sodomy with a minor, and digital penetration with a foreign object. Vasquez was hired in the Californian school district in 2011.
Vasquez was fired from a Wisconsin school district in 2006 after parents complained of sexual harassment. A police investigation concluded that Vasquez was a danger to students, and he was terminated.
What Does this Mean?
Considering that Vasquez had a history sexually harassing students in his prior school district, he should have never been hired to work near any kids. On the contrary, Vasquez was hired with a school district in California that provided him with easy access to students. Unfortunately, Vasquez was allowed to victimize another student.
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How does this incident reflect on the school district? Without a doubt, Vasquez should have never been hired by another school district and given access to vulnerable students. The California school district that hired Vasquez should have submitted him, like any other prospective employee, to rigorous checks, including background checks. Did the school district fail to take enough caution when hiring Vasquez? Did the school district even bother to subject him to a background check?
About Negligent Hiring
Negligent hiring occurs when employers, such as a school district, fail to take appropriate measures to ensure that they are hiring someone who will not pose a hazard to other parties – in this case to students. If the school district had subjected Vasquez to a background check, they would have likely become aware of his history with sexual harassment. In fact, even a quick online search of his name would have resulted in information regarding the sexual assault incident in the Wisconsin school district where he was previously employed.
Negligent hiring occurs when an employer hires an employee without first properly verifying the party’s background to confirm that she or he does not pose a threat to others.
Some examples of negligent hiring in different situations include the following:
- A hospital failing to discover that a newly hired nurse has a history of mistreating patients.
- A hospital failing to discover that the new janitor has a history of sexual assault.
- A rideshare company failing to realize that a prospective driver has a history of violent crimes.
- A nursery failing to realize that the new day care teacher has been previously fired for hurting small children.
The Different Ways to Avoid Negligent Hiring
There are many different ways in which employers could prevent from hiring people with backgrounds that conflict with the line of work. Without a doubt, the most obvious way for employers to avoid negligent hiring is to subject prospective employees to background checks. However, background checks can sometimes be ineffective – especially if the prospective employee was never convicted or charged with anything. What else could employers do? Undeniably, they should thoroughly review all information provided by a prospective employee. If there are any suspicious patterns or gaps within employment, it is essential that employers pay even more attention. Employers should also contact multiple personal references as well as professional references. If there are no red-flags during the hiring process and the individual is hired, it is essential that the employer remains vigilant for any behavior that might prove that the employee represents a danger to other parties.
What Can You Do?
What can you do if you were affected by negligent hiring? What could you do if your child was affected by negligent hiring? Do you have the right to take action against the school district if your child was attacked by a sexual predator that should never have been hired in the first place? Without a doubt, you have the right to take action. You could sue the party that directly sexually assaulted your child, but you could also sue the school district. The right to pursue a claim is based on negligence: a party/entity owes you (or your child) a duty of care; the party/entity breaches the duty of care owed; the breach of duty causes a risky situation (a sexual deviant having access to children); the breach of duty leads to harm (sexual assault).
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If negligent hiring practices eventually led to your assault or your child’s assault, it is essential that you seek legal assistance as soon as possible – as you have the right to pursue a claim. If you are interested in pursuing a claim and fighting for your right to recover compensation, it is important that you take action immediately. You should collect any evidence that is available. You should file the appropriate reports with the school, school district, and the police. There should be a medical record of the assault. You should also ensure that you have legal assistance. Sexual assault is usually associated with complicated legal processes – hiring an attorney will ensure that you have the guidance that you need during this difficult process.
Could You Recover Compensation?
If your child was a victim of sexual assault at the hands of a teacher, you could sue and receive compensation. In general, the compensation available to recover depends on the specific details of your claim. Although sexual assault claims are different, victims and their families are usually eligible to recover compensation for medical expenses, pain/suffering, loss of consortium, and punitive damages, for example. If you would like to learn more about the specific type and amount of compensation that you might be eligible to receive, do not hesitate to contact our firm immediately. We are aware that monetary compensation will not reverse the harm suffered; however, we understand how monetary compensation can help your entire family move forward from such a traumatic event in your lives. Our sexual assault lawyers will always fight for your right to recover the maximum amount of compensation available for your claim.
Contact Downtown L.A. Law Group
Downtown L.A. Law Group is a personal injury law firm with many years of experience handling a variety of claims, including sexual assault claims. Unfortunately, sexual assault in schools – places where our children should be safe – is very common. Teachers and other adults with access to easy targets subject victims to sexual harassment and sexual assault. If your child has been victimized by a teacher and sexually assaulted, do not hesitate to seek legal assistance with the experts at Downtown L.A. Law Group as soon as possible.
Our firm offers both free consultations and free second opinions to ensure that our clients never have to worry about expensive fees to speak with our lawyers. During our free consultations and free second opinions, our experts will be available to answer all your questions, address all your concerns, and provide you with all the information that you need to take action against the parties and entities liable for the harm that you suffered. If you would like to schedule a free consultation or free second opinion, do not hesitate to contact our firm today.
Our free legal services are available as part of our Zero-Fee guarantee. Our Zero-Fee guarantee ensures that our clients will never have to pay any upfront legal fees for any of our legal services. Our firm is also strictly based on contingency; therefore, our clients will never have to pay anything until after reaching a successful claim outcome. If you believe that you are ready to discuss the possibility of filing a claim with our experts, do not hesitate to contact Downtown L.A. Law Group today.