Employees and employers can both be sued in negligence cases

Ontario's Superior Court of Justice allows a teenager to sue Starbucks Coffee Canada, a manager and a barista for scalding incident

Employees and employers can both be sued in negligence cases

Both employee and employer can be named as defendants in a negligence case, Ontario’s top court has ruled.
The Superior Court said Starbucks Coffee Canada and its employees “failed to take reasonable or any care at all to ensure that [the plaintiff] would be reasonably safe,” and to “prevent an injury . . . which they knew or ought to have known.”

The plaintiff, Abigail Sataur from Brampton, may now proceed to sue the coffee company along with a manager and a barista for a scalding incident in 2015, The Star reported.

Sataur, who was 14 at that time, asked the barista to fill her niece’s baby bottle with warm water, according to the statement of claim filed before the Superior Court of Justice. The latter filled the bottle with scalding hot water and spilled it on Sataur’s hands.

The court statement said Starbucks employed “incompetent servants or agents and/or staff to ensure the safety of Abigail,” and failed to “instruct properly . . . their employees in proper methods and procedures to be used to regulate water temperatures and handle hot beverages.”

Sataur’s father will act as her litigation guardian.

The teen, now 16, is seeks $1 million in general and special damages and legal costs. Injuries to her hands and arms, which require future hospitalization and rehabilitation, have also caused headaches, mood changes and depression. They have left her “unable to participate in recreational, household and athletic activities”.

The allegations have not been proven in court.

Starbucks told The Star that it is “fully prepared to address the claims in that case as we believe our partners (employees) are not at fault”.

It has yet to deliver a statement of defence.

Related stories:
Criminal conviction for reckless employer
Job losses as beverage giant shuts stores

Recent articles & video

‘People mentally are not in the same place’: How to host a work holiday party, legally

Mental health-related issues lead to significant lost working days

Israeli-Palestinian conflict: How addressing the issue can impact your organisation

Dow retrofitting Alberta facility to net-zero

Most Read Articles

What is caste-based discrimination, and why HR needs to learn about it

What's really keeping workers from feeling wellbeing at work? It's not what you think

'Why am I here?' The real employee engagement question HR needs to be asking