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Plaintiff Alleges Negligent Entrustment in Wrongful Death Case, Defendant Appeals


An action was filed, among other things, to recover damages for wrongful death and personal injuries against a car leasing company. The action arose from a car/bicycle collision accident, which led to the death of the 30-year old woman riding the bicycle. According to sources, the woman, while riding her bicycle, was stuck by a truck. The truck was owned by a car leasing company. The car leasing company denied liability and asked a court to dismiss the complaint against them.

Records showed that on the day of the car accident, an assistant supervisor for a trucking company rented the truck from a dealer of the car leasing company. The truck, at the time of the accident, was driven by a part-time worker of the dealer.

The brother of the deceased woman filed the action. The brother alleged negligent entrustment. In the allegation of negligent entrustment, the brother said the dealer’s counter agent negligently entrusted the truck to the part-time employee. The brother said the counter agent failed to thoroughly review the driving and criminal history of the part-time employee. Sources said the part-time employee’s license is restricted to a class C driver’s license. The brother further alleged that the part-time employee’s drug use on the day of the rental and accident was obvious and the counter agent negligently failed to refuse the employee from driving.

The court found that the dealer and the car leasing company made a prima facie showing that they are entitled to a judgment on the allegation of negligent entrustment. They have demonstrated that the rental truck was not negligently entrusted to the part-time employee. The court also found that they have submitted transcripts and business accounts that verified that the part-time employee had a restricted, yet valid, driver’s license on the morning of the rental and accident. The testimonies they presented also showed that the part-time employee had not used drugs on the day of the accident.

In counter, the brother of the deceased woman submitted an abstract of the part-time employee’s driving record, which showed that he indeed had a restricted, yet valid, class C driver’s license on the day of the accident. Although the brother presented testimonies of witnesses, the court found them insufficient to prove his allegation that the part-time employee was under the influence of drugs on the day of the rental and accident.

Accordingly, the court dismissed the complaint as the claim of negligent entrustment. The court also dismissed the claim of liability against the car leasing company and the dealer holding that the claim was barred under the Graves Amendment because the car leasing company and its dealer were able to show that they were owners engaged in the trade or business of renting or leasing motor vehicles.

Losing a loved one and being involved in a a lawsuit arising from that wrongful death is difficult for all. New York Car Accident Attorneys will stand by you and help see you through your case. These Attorneys can argue your side and make sure that you and your loved ones are compensated.

Stephen Bilkis & Associates with its NY Wrongful Death Lawyers, has convenient offices throughout the New York Metropolitan area including Corona, NY. Our Attorneys can provide you with advice to guide you through situations where an injury resulted because of another’s negligence. Without our Attorneys, you may lose your rights which may cost you a significant amount of money.

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