Sparks Reg'l Med. Ctr. v. Smith
In Sparks Reg'l Med. Ctr. v. Smith, 63 Ark. App. 131, 976 S.W.2d 396 (1998), the Court clarified the distinction between the theories of respondeat superior and negligent supervision.
There the Court quoted from 27 Am. Jur. 2d Employment Relationship 472 (1996), which states:
"Employers are subject to direct liability for the negligent hiring, retention, or supervision of their employees when third parties are injured by the tortious acts of such unfit, incompetent, or unsuitable employees. In order to recover, the plaintiff must show that the employer knew, or in the exercise of ordinary care should have known, that its employee's conduct would subject third parties to an unreasonable risk of harm.
This theory is completely separate from the respondeat superior theory of vicarious liability because the cause of action is premised on the wrongful conduct of the employer, such that the employer's negligence was the proximate cause of the plaintiff's injuries."