When Withholding Information Regarding Hazards Is Considered An Intentional Tort ?

In Connelly v. Arrow Air, Inc., 568 So. 2d 448 (Fla. 3d DCA 1990), the widow of an airline copilot killed in the course of his employment, brought a wrongful death action against the employer, alleging that the employer's conduct amounted to an intentional tort. In that case, there was evidence that the airplane was routinely overloaded and poorly maintained with known mechanical deficiencies. See 568 So. 2d at 450. Problems with different parts of the aircraft were ignored and other malfunctioning items were reported only on in-bound trips to eliminate costly non-base repair expenses. See 568 So. 2d at 449-50. Based on this evidence, the court found that the employer's conduct was substantially certain to cause serious injury or death. See id. at 450. Further, the court also found that where an employer "withholds from an employee knowledge of a defect or hazard which poses a grave threat of injury . . . the employer will be considered to have acted in a 'belief that the harm is substantially certain to occur.'" Id. at 451.