The Board of County Commissioners of Dona Ana County: Legal Issue

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DAVIS V. THE BOARD OF COUNTY COMMISSIONERS OF DONA ANA COUNTY What was the legal issue in this case?
The legal issue in the case of: Davis v. The Board of County Commissioners of Dona Ana County was Negligent Referral or misrepresentation. (Walsh p 148)   Negligent referral is when a former employer gives a positive recommendation that leads to half-truths with regards to the character of a former employee. Liability may be imposed if the referral leads to foreseeable and considerable risk or harm to a third party. Mesilla Valley Hospital (MVH), a psychiatric hospital in Doña Ana County hired Joseph “Tinie” Herrera as a mental health technician on January 20, 1995.   Prior to his employment with MVH, Herrera was a detention sergeant and classification officer at Doña Ana County Detention Center. According to the plaintiff, Herrera was hired by MVH based on the unqualified favorable recommendations from his former Detention Center Supervisors Frank Steele and Al Mochen, who were the captain and the assistant director, respectfully of the Detention Center.   While employed as a detention officer at the Dona Ana County Detention Center, Joseph Herrera, was accused of unsuitable sexual behavior with female prison inmates and of exchanging favors for sex acts.   Herrera’s supervisor, Frank Steele, investigated the charges and advised Herrera that he would be reprimanded.   Herrera resigned to avoid disciplinary action.   Six days later, Steele wrote a recommendation letter on Herrera’s behalf that portrayed him as an “excellent employee” and told prospective employers:   “I am confident that you would find [Herrera] to be an excellent employee.”   (Walsh, 2010,  p.149).   Al Mochen. The assistant director of the Detention Center also made constructive verbal references for Joseph Herrera.   Plaintiff (Davis) sued the County for negligent misrepresentation alleging that the misinformation provided by the Detention Center employees Frank Steele and Al Mochen,...
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