Thursday, December 17, 2020

A Primer on Negligent Entrustment Claims

In the case of L-Sharif v. Gagliordi, No. 10242 of 2020, C.A. (C.P. Lawr. Co. Oct. 13, 2020 Motto, J.), the court found that the Plaintiff’s negligent entrustment claim was legally insufficient where the Complaint lacked any averment to demonstrate that the Defendant driver was a habitually unsafe driver or that his employer, who was the owner of the vehicle the driver was operating at the time of the accident, knew or had reason to know that the Defendant driver was an unsafe driver when the owner entrusted the driver with the vehicle. The court granted the Plaintiff’s Preliminary Objections in part.

According to the Complaint, this matter arose out of a motor vehicle accident during which the driver was operating a pick-up truck owned by his construction company employer.

Reviewing the Plaintiff’s Complaint, the court found that the Complaint did not have any factual allegations to demonstrate that the driver was a habitually unsafe driver or any facts that the owner knew or had reasons to know that the driver was an unsafe driver. The otherwise bare allegations of negligent entrustment asserted by the Plaintiff were found to be insufficient.

As such, the Defendant owner’s Preliminary Objections were granted with respect to this claim.

Anyone wishing to review a copy of this decision may click this LINK.

Source: “Digest of Recent Opinions.” Pennsylvania Law Weekly (Nov. 24, 2020).

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