B & L Motor Freight, Inc. (B & L) (defendant), hired Edward Harbour as an over-the-road driver in Illinois. Before hiring Harbour, B & L investigated Harbour’s record of vehicular offenses but did not investigate Harbour’s non-vehicular criminal record. Consequently, B & L was unaware that Harbour had been arrested the previous year for aggravated sodomy of two hitchhikers while driving an over-the-road truck for Harbour’s former employer. After hiring Harbour, B & L issued Harbour written instructions and regulations, which included a prohibition against picking up hitchhikers. On January 24, 1978, while driving an over-the-road truck with a sleeping compartment, Harbour picked up Karen Malorney (plaintiff), a hitchhiker, and sexually assaulted her in the sleeping compartment of the truck. Malorney subsequently sued B & L for negligently hiring Harbour to drive an over-the-road truck with a sleeping compartment without investigating Harbour’s non-vehicular criminal history. B & L moved for summary judgment. The trial court denied the motion. The Appellate Court of Illinois granted B & L leave to appeal.