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Davis v. The Board of County Commissioners of Dona Ana County
Professor Maryann Wangemann
Business Employment Law
October 24, 2010
This case involves Mesilla Valley Hospital, a psychiatric hospital that employs mental health technicians for a variety of patient-care functions, such as restraining patients, taking patients on walks, and providing staff coverage at night. MVH hired Joseph “Tinie” Herrera as a mental health technician on January 20, 1995 due to a flawless recommendation received from his former supervisors at the Dona Ana County Detention Center. After a complaint was received by a patient and a thorough investigation of Mr. Herrera’s employment history, the recommendation proved to be falsified and omitted pertinent information in reference to the employee’s character. This paper will address the following questions. What was the legal issue in this case? Why does the court conclude that Doña Ana County could be held liable for negligent referral (misrepresentation)? Should it have mattered that the former employer’s investigation was not able to confirm all of the allegations against Herrera? What practical implications does this decision hold? Was I convinced by the court’s claim that this ruling should not make employers more reluctant to provide references?
What was the legal issue in this case?
The legal issue in this case was Joseph “Tinnie” Herrera received a recommendation containing unconditional praise from former supervisors, Frank Steele and Al Mochen, despite their knowledge of complaints involving sexual misconduct at his prior employment. Mr. Herrera was subsequently hired as a mental health technician at Mesilla Valley Hospital, a psychiatric hospital in Dona Ana County where he was accused of sexually assaulting a young female patient. The employment recommendations made by Steele and Mochen omitted disciplinary action taken and recommended by these same two officers.
Why does the court conclude that Doña...
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