What is Negligent Entrustment?

Enjoying some time off from practicing law.

Attorney Michael Ehline in Marina del Rey with Gunnarr Ehline

Understanding negligent entrustment is just one of the may facets of negligence law a California attorney must know. Negligent entrustment arises in many ways. Typically, the jury instructions define negligent entrustment as

an injury that proximately was caused by a tortfeasor entrusting his or her property to another person he or she know or should have known in the hands of someone he knows or should have known was not properly trained, or qualified to use, manage or control that property. (See CACI Jury Instructions PDF here.)

Therefore, if it is reasonably foreseeable that the misuse of the property can lead to a risk serious risk of harm or injury to another, the person who lent their car, for example, to a person they knew to be intoxicated, or driving on a suspended license for “reckless driving”, etc., they can be on the hook along with the person who caused the damage as a “co-defendant”. When determining whether your lawyer has a case for this cause of action, courts will focus on the forseeability of the harm to injured victims. If the harm was a foreseeable risk, then the court looks to see if the defendant’s conduct in entrusting the thing, such as a business, car of gun would have likely caused the resulting harm.

Negligent Entrustment of Motor Vehicles

Negligent entrustment of a motor vehicle is a very typical form of negligent entrustment claims in LA. An example could be a pizza delivery guy who doesn’t have a driver’s license driving a pizza delivery truck owned by the pizza place. It could be a vehicle owner entrusting his car or truck to a drunk or doped up driver. This tort also involves situations such as a parent letting his kids borrow the family car, even though the kids have several speeding and reckless driving tickets with at fault accidents.

Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm

Negligent entrustment of a firearm could lead to a school shooting massacre. It’s not just guns though, it could apply anytime a dangerous product is loaned to someone not qualified to use it. So naturally, guns, machetes, knives and poisons can all create negligent entrustment liability. Not just firearms are dangerous.

Speak With Legal Counsel Now

Contact Ehline at 888-400-9721 to learn more from a negligent entrustment of property lawyer.