Negligent Entrustment and its Legal Ramifications

Enjoying some time off from practicing law.

Attorney Michael Ehline in Marina del Rey with Gunnarr Ehline

Responsibility can go well beyond what happens in your very presence. Negligent entrustment is a growing portion of California legal cases and has many forms and ways of coming about. When a jury is faced with the decision of whether or not negligent entrustment occurred, they have many things to consider. They must determine if:

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.

As seen in the Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions.

Understanding the many factors in negligent entrustment cases is a vital portion of being a well-rounded California attorney. Having this and other important civil and criminal laws and precedents already known can make a vital difference in a case.

If it should have been foreseen that the misuse of any property– whether it be a car, gun, or any other object or objects– could or would risk serious injury or harm, there are serious implications. These can include lending a vehicle to a person that is clearly drunk or has a suspended driving for reckless or irresponsible driving. This can go so far as having the lender brought into court as the co-defendant. The court will attempt to determine how much risk should have been foreseen and if it was or should have been apparent to the lender. At this point, the court looks into whether the defendant’s conduct likely caused the resulting harm.

Negligent Entrustment of Motor Vehicles

One of the most common forms of negligent entrustment is in the case of motor vehicles. This can be seen all over Southern California, including lending cars to a pizza delivery person without a license– with the vehicle owned by the pizza place. There could also be car owners lending their vehicle to a drunk or drugged up driver. There have also been cases of parents lending their car or truck to their child, even though that kid has been in trouble with the law for reckless driving.

Negligent Entrustment of a Firearm

Firearm safety is vital. Allowing an unqualified or dangerous person near such a weapons could lead to accidental discharge or even murdered. The use of any weapon– rifles, pistols, and even knives and poisons can easily create a negligent entrustment liability.

Speak With Legal Counsel Now

If you or a loved one has been hurt due to such a case, call one of our expert attorneys at 888-400-9721 for more information and a free, no-pressure consultation.