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Diaz v. Carcamo: Employer Liability for Employees

Employers are normally responsible for the misconduct of their employees at the workplace, and the case of Diaz v. Carcamo is yet another evidence of such liability. The reason for the incident was a car accident involving a third party who initiated the lawsuit. The essay will analyze the legal obligations of a company toward its employees, provide recommendations on the court’s course of events, and explore the human resource department’s responsibility in this situation.

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Principle-Agency Relationship

Principal-agency relationship is based on the arrangement between two legal parties, when one (the principal) can act on behalf of the other (the agent). There are several main principal-agency relationship types that can be recognized. First is agency by estoppel, which is a kind of an arrangement based on the principal of introducing the agent to the third party, which overtakes the agent’s ruling. Second, is agency by ratification, which is characterized as an agreement that grants the principal the right to act on agent’s behalf without his permission. Next, as defined in the legal dictionary of Arthur Leff (1985), agency by operation of law is a relationship between principal and agent that is implied in law but with no specific ratification of it. Lastly, the principal-agency relationship type is defined as an agency by agreement or contract; such type of relationship was identified between Jose Carcamo, and the Sugar Transport of the Northwest. In such a kind of arrangement, the driver, Jose, has signed a contract or agreed with the employer to serve as a driver of a company. Hence, the enterprise was liable for all actions performed at a job by Jose during his work hours.


The Sugar Transport of the Northwest Company employed an effective tactic of attempting to avoid questions related to the hiring process of Carcamo and their confidence in his persona. The company took a wise path of choosing low damage award, rather than transferring the case to the jury. However, the Sugar Transport Company could appeal the charges against them in the first place, which would make the enterprise not responsible for Carcamo’s previous driving record. Even though it would be difficult to win the appeal, though worth attempting to overturn the judgment that makes the company liable for the employees’ actions.

Human Resources Responsibility

The department of human resources at every company is responsible for hiring suitable candidates for the position that correspond to all the necessary requirements. To properly analyze the person, they must conduct specific background checks, assuring that no prior records regarding the person occur. As for hiring a truck driver, the HR’s are responsible for checking the candidates licensing, criminal records, and past references to ensure the operator’s qualification for the job.

At the Sugar Transport of the Northwest Company, HR managers failed to recognize and act on previous suspicious records of Carcamo. The Diaz v. Carcamo case (2017) identified evidence against the driver’s “prior employment, driving, and accident history”, making the Human resource department guilty for overlooking or not properly investigating Carcamo’s persona prior to his employment. As a consequence of human resources neglect during the hiring process, the company caused a violation of the legal principle of negligent entrustment (Merriam-Webster, n.d.). The accident also involves a third party injured by the accident, where the laws of respondeat superior could also be applied to the case (Cornell Law School, n.d.). Such violation makes the principle responsible for all actions taken by their agents during work hours. Therefore, the accident involving Carcamo makes the driver guilty and the enterprise liable for his misconduct.

The case Diaz v. Carcamo that engage the Sugar Transport Company, inarguably makes the enterprise liable for their employee’s action and the damage he caused to the woman by accident. The California Supreme Court has also confirmed such a statement and accused Carcamo of careless driving who is employed by the Sugar Transport Company (Find Law, 2017). The corporation must take further action to eliminate the possibility of future similar accidents and significantly improve the human resources department’s mechanism.


Diaz V. Carcamo. No. B211127. California Court of Appeal (2017). Web.

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Cornell Law School. (n.d.). Respondeat superior. 2020, Web.

Leff, A. (1985). Agency by operation of law. In The Leff Dictionary of Law. Yale Law School. Web.

Merriam-Webster. (n.d.). Negligent entrustment. In legal dictionary. 2020, Web.

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