Monday, April 16, 2012

Negligent Entrustment Claim Allowed to Proceed in Luzerne County

In the case of Zschunke v. Sitler, No. 13845 Civil 2010 (C.P. Luz. April 5, 2012 Vough, J.), Judge Michael T. Vough of the Luzerne County Court of Common Pleas denied a defendant's motion for summary judgment on a negligent entrustment claim in an auto accident case.  The decision was by way of a one line Order.

I have been informed that this case involved a Defendant driver taking his father's vehicle. The father claimed that his son, the Defendant driver, took the vehicle without his permission. The son allegedly had a very lengthy criminal history and drug problem, allegedly including a motor vehicle crash that happened 6 months before the subject accident, where the son allegedly took his grandfather's vehicle and allegedly hit another person head-on.

In the Complaint filed in this matter, the Plaintiff alleged negligence and negligent entrustment. Defendant filed Summary Judgment on the negligent entrustment issue.

The Plaintiff countered the motion by pointing to the Defendant driver's prior driving history and by pointing to issues of fact in the form of the Defendant driver asserting that he did have permission to drive the vehicle at the time of the accident.

As noted, Judge Vough denied the Summary Judgment motion.  Anyone desiring a copy of this Order in Zschuncke v. Sitler may contact me at dancummins@comcast.net.

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