How may courts approach claims of negligent training in instances where the failure of skills proposed are skills considered to be of the everyday variety? John W. Meyer, an associate in Goldberg Segalla’s Transportation group, delves into this topic with an article in the New Jersey Law Journal.
John began his exploration with analysis of case law and what a plaintiff must prove in order to successfully plead a cause of negligent training, which includes foreseeability and unreasonable exposure of harm. “If the crux of the claim, therefore, is foreseeability, and unreasonable exposure of the public to harm, how, then, is a claim of failure to train a commonsense skill to be brought forward? Based upon New Jersey jurisprudence and case law, such claims should be untenable.”
Further, John explored examples of when claims for negligent training may arise when an employee or agent of an employer operates with alleged skills that are presumed to be within the ken of an ordinary person. These examples included food or food delivery and drop-off and the operation of a vehicle when an employee or agent is licensed to operate said vehicle.
“In the end, the guiding polestar of the courts must be to entertain those claims in which without training the injury would occur, rather than the uncertain and amorphous attempt at mitigation of likelihood of injury with training,” he concluded. “Using that tool to guide the court, the logical, and correct conclusion when married with New Jersey jurisprudence, is that negligent training claims should be relegated to those claims involving specialized skills and tasks.”
“What Cannot Be Taught: Allegations of Failure to Train Common Sense,” New Jersey Law Journal, August 17, 2022
John W. Meyer focuses his practice on a variety of complex civil litigation matters with a focus on the trucking and transportation industry. Prior to entering private practice, John served as a law clerk to the Hon. Greta Gooden-Brown in the New Jersey Superior Court in the Appellate Division. As a law student, he gained experience as a legal intern in the office of the senior vice president and general counsel of Rutgers University, where he drafted briefs concerning employment and labor matters.