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Tragedy During Best Buy Delivery is a Reminder That Companies Can’t Delegate Safety


Sadly, it is often the most tragic and horrifying stories that remind us of our legal rights. Such is the case with the murder of an elderly woman in Boca Raton. Although no legal action has been filed yet related to the murder that we know of, the case is still worth looking into for the purposes of safety.

Murder of an Elderly Woman

The case involves an elderly woman who purchased a washing machine at a Best Buy store in Boca Raton. According to news reports and eyewitness accounts, the delivery truck arrived at the woman’s house. Shortly afterwards, neighbors heard screaming. It was later learned that the woman was beaten to death and was set on fire by one of the delivery people.

Aside from how shocking this crime is, what many people also took notice of is that these were delivery people acting for or on behalf of Best Buy, a large, big-box retailer. There is the impression that a large chain like this thoroughly investigates the people that it allows into people’s homes, and that if you are going to allow any unknown delivery people into your house, you are relatively safe doing so with a known national retailer.

Delivery Company Was Not Best Buy

However, this case is bringing to light how poor of a job some large companies do when investigating those that go into customers houses. Many times delivery people are not employees of the store you purchase an item from at all, but rather are independent companies. In this case, the delivery company was JB Home Delivery.

JB Home Delivery has some connections to a larger trucking company, J.B. Hunt. Yet, in the news article, even that trucking company called JB Home Delivery an “independent, local company.” In other words, the large companies that should know better, are trying to point the finger at the delivery company, in apparent efforts to absolve themselves of any liability for failing to use a larger, reputable company, and for their failure to properly investigate or do any vetting of the people they allowed into their customers’ homes.

Non-Delegable Duties

If legal action is filed (and if there is a confidential settlement before litigation is filed, we may never know), it is likely that Best Buy will not be able to escape liability. A large company cannot contract with a smaller, independent company and then point the finger at that small company when someone is injured.

Companies have a non-delegable duty to avoid being negligent towards their customers. Here, Best Buy cannot simply pawn off their obligation to do background checks, or their obligation to use reputable companies to do deliveries, by pointing the finger at their delivery company.  Aside from the fact that the duties of safety are non-delegable, it can also be argued that Best Buy negligently entrusted a company or delivery personnel, that it should never have trusted.

Contact the Miami personal injury attorneys at Jacobs Legal in Miami today if you are injured in any kind of accident or criminal act where someone may be liable for your injuries.


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