Torts — Automobile accident — Vicarious liability — Dangerous instrumentalities doctrine — Family members — Bailee — Driver of vehicle involved in auto accident given permission to use vehicle by his mother who did not hold legal title to vehicle, but who was its primary user — Discussion of dangerous instrumentality liability — If a family member has an identifiable property interest in a vehicle, such as a bailment, and entrusts their vehicle to another who, in turn, causes injury, that family member can be held vicariously liable for the tort if the title owner denies vicarious liability for that entrustment — However, there is no sound basis in the law for holding both the acknowledged title owner and family member bailee liable for bailee’s entrustment of the vehicle under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine — Trial court erred in denying mother’s motion for directed verdict where father who was undisputed title owner of vehicle was also found vicariously liable for what was essentially the same entrustment of the same vehicle — Question certified: Under the dangerous instrumentality doctrine, can one family member who is a bailee of a car be held vicariously liable when the car’s acknowledged title owner is another family member who is also vicariously liable under the doctrine?
45 Fla. L. Weekly D760a
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