Sexual Relationship With Tenant Outside the Scope of Tenant Advocate’s Employment.

In [i]Larson v. Cooper Square Comm. Develop. Committee & Bus. Assoc., Inc.[/i], 11243/11, NYLJ 1202517524591 (Sup. Qu. Sept. 26, 2011), plaintiff claimed that she was sexually assaulted by a tenant advocate for Cooper Square Development Committee and Businessman’s Association. Specifically, the plaintiff claimed that she had nonconsensual sex with the advocate on 12 occasions when he made home visits to her apartment in Cooper Square. Plaintiff asserted that Cooper Square was liable under the respondeat superior theory. The court found that the advocate’s actions were outside the scope of his employment. The fact that it was part of the advocate’s employment to make home visits did not bring the acts of the sexual assaults or sexual relationship into the scope of the employment. The acts were not done in furtherance of Cooper Square’s business and were a departure from the acts of a tenant advocate and, thus, outside the scope of his employment. The court dismissed the negligent hiring, retention and supervision claims against Cooper Square because plaintiff could not establish that Cooper Square knew or should have known about the advocate’s alleged tortious propensities.

Special thanks to Cheryl Fuchs for her contributions to this post. For more information, please contact Nicole Brown at nbrown@wcmlaw.com.