21 Aug What is negligent entrustment?
What is negligent entrustment?
Negligent entrustment is when the owner of an item (entrustor) is held liable for negligence as a result of entrusting the item to another person (entrustee) who injures a third party. An example of potential negligent entrustment is when the owner of a vehicle loans his vehicle to someone he knows is drunk. The drunk crashes the car into another vehicle, killing them. The owner of the vehicle could be sued for negligent entrustment because the owner knew or had reason to know.
The elements for negligent entrustment are:
- (1) the entrustee (the person who was entrusted with the item) was incompetent by reason of age, inexperience, habitual recklessness or otherwise;
- (2) the entrustor (the person who entrusted the item to the entrustee) knew or had reason to know of the entrustee’s incompetence;
- (3) there was entrustment of the item; and
- (4) the negligence of the entrustor concurred with the conduct of the entrustee to cause plaintiff’s injuries.
Negligent entrustment could come up in other scenarios, such as if the entrustor knew or should have known the entrustee did not have a valid driver’s license, has cognitive decline or has poor vision. This can be particularly relevant for aging parents. If a child loans a vehicle to their elderly parent and the parent injures someone as a result of something like the examples, the child could have potential exposure.
Be very careful when loaning your car or other “dangerous property” to another individual because you could be on the hook.
Thank you for reading.
Tarun B. Rana, Esq.
Rana Law Group
655 Craig Road, Suite 252
St. Louis, MO 63141