Owner Liability For Unauthorized Drivers

The Norfolk Superior Court recently awarded a verdict in the amount of Twelve Million Dollars ($12,000,000) in favor of our clients, two brothers injured in 2006 when a driver in a SUV owned by a third party crossed the double yellow lines and collided head on with the car occupied by the brothers.  The brother who was driving the car suffered traumatic brain injury in the collision and sustained a stroke leaving him partially paralyzed and unable to speak.

Goldman & Pease sued and obtained verdicts against the owners of the SUV involved in the crash on the following theories: (1) agency – the owners failed to rebut the presumption that at the time of the accident, the driver was acting as the agent of the owners; (2) negligent entrustment – the owners knowingly gave permission to an incompetent and/or unfit person, i.e., the driver, to drive their SUV on the night of the accident and that his incompetence and/or unfitness caused the accident; and (3) negligent failure to secure a motor vehicle– the owners negligently failed to secure their SUV despite knowing or having a reason to know that the driver had the propensity to use the vehicle without permission and knowing that he was an incompetent and/or unfit driver.

You may read the details of this case in its entirety on our website as presented in Lawyer’s Weekly, or you may download the PDF version of the article for your future reference.

The Greater Boston attorneys at Goldman & Pease, located in Needham, concentrate in Massachusetts litigation and serve the greater Boston metro region including Alston, Arlington, Belmont, Brighton, Brookline, Cambridge, Canton, Dedham, Dover, Milton, Natick, Needham, Newton, Norwood, Waltham, Watertown, Wayland, Wellesley, Weston, West Roxbury, Westwood, and all of Massachusetts.