Pop Goes the Lawsuit | Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 2, 2023
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Pop Goes the Lawsuit

(CN) - A New York woman cannot sue a building owner for injuries she sustained when a security guard allegedly lifted her onto a bar to see if she could pop a balloon by sitting on it, a state appeals court ruled.

Heather McCann sued Varrick Group based on the actions of the security guard, who was an independent contractor.

The trial court dismissed the case, and the appellate division Manhattan-based first department affirmed on May 17.

The unsigned decision rejects McCann's claim that there was a question of fact as to whether Varrick employed the security guard.

"The security guard's act of lifting plaintiff onto a bar for the purpose of seeing if she could pop a balloon by sitting on it constitutes a 'clear departure' from the scope of his purported employment," the justices wrote.

They also rejected McCann's contention that a background check should have prevented the security guard from being hired in the first place.

"The security guard's conviction, as a minor, of accessory to kidnapping, bears no relation to a propensity to commit the conduct the conduct which caused the injury here," the justices wrote.

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