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Lawsuit is Filed in Best Buy Tragedy


It is always important to remind the public that when people are victims of criminal activity, it is not just the criminal legal system that can help you, but the civil justice system can help as well. Sadly, it is often the worst of tragedies that reminds us of this.

Big Stores Often Subcontract to Smaller Companies

Such is the case with the horrific and brutal murder of a woman in Boca Raton. The woman had ordered an appliance at a local Best Buy. Like many big box retail stores, Best Buy advertised in-home delivery and installation, and the woman ordered the service.

Like many who utilize in-home delivery services from large retail companies, she likely thought that the people entering her home were Best Buy employees, or that Best Buy at least had done some kind of background check on the people they were allowing into its customer’s homes.

However, like many retailers, Best Buy used a third party company to deliver and install its appliances, a fact that was unknown to many of its customers. And, according to criminal and now civil allegations, Best Buy did little to make sure that the people entering its customers’ homes had a clean criminal record.

Woman Murdered in Her Home

When the delivery truck arrived at the woman’s home two employees were in the truck. One waited outside, while the other went inside the woman’s home with the washing machine to be installed. Soon afterward, the employee in the truck and neighbors heard screaming from inside the home.

The delivery person that had gone into the home had beaten the elderly woman and set her on fire, killing her.

Best Buy had used a company called JB Home Delivery for deliveries and installations. The delivery people were employed not by Best Buy, but by JB Home Delivery.

The woman’s family has now filed a lawsuit for wrongful death against Best Buy. Best Buy has joined the family in calling for tougher laws requiring companies to do background checks on delivery people. For its part, Best Buy says that it does background checks on its own employees, but has not commented on the allegations in the lawsuit.

Delegating Responsibility

It is likely that Best Buy will try to point the finger at the third-party delivery companies, and blame them for poor background checks, or lax standards when it comes to reviewing the backgrounds of delivery people. However, the law places a non-delegable duty on companies like Best Buy when it comes to customer safety.

That means that Best Buy will not be able to just point the finger at the delivery company. Best Buy had an obligation to make sure that it was not putting their customers in danger in their own homes, with a delivery service that Best Buy offered, advertised, and profited off of.

Criminal activity is not just prosecuted in criminal court, but in civil court as well. Contact the West Palm Beach personal injury attorneys at the Celeste Law Firm today for help if you have been injured as a result of someone else’s negligence.




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