Negligent Entrustment - $315,000.00

A $315,000.00 settlement on the eve of trial by Hyde Oldsmobile Inc., a dealership, in favor of a 27-year-old female passenger who suffered injuries while riding in a demonstrator automobile being driven by the employee finance manager of the auto dealership.

The employee and the plaintiff had met in a bar and the employee invited the plaintiff to travel with him in the demonstrator automobile owned by the dealership to a restaurant for dinner. While driving the automobile from the restaurant at approximately midnight, the employee began to drive in a negligent and reckless manner, wherein the plaintiff twice requested him to slow the vehicle down, wherein the employee lost control of the vehicle, causing the vehicle to leave the highway and to collide with a tree and a telephone pole.

Plaintiff received four fractures of the pelvis, resulting in a one-half inch leg shortening. Approximately nine months after the collision, the plaintiff suffered from a ruptured diaphragm which the treating physician testified was a direct result of the auto accident. Through production of the dealership employee records, it ws learned that the employee was on probation at the time of the accident for a previous vehicular homicide for which he had recently served time in prison.

Liability was formulated under the theory that the defendants were negligent trusting their vehicle to a person that they knew or should have known had a dangerous propensity for violence and recklessness with an automobile as evidenced by his prior course of conduct.

Attorneys: Plaintiff was represented by GTLA member Robert A. Falanga.

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