Arthur’s Night Out

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Q: At about midnight, the rear of my automobile was involved in an accident.  I was not in it.  The car was occupied by my friend and part-time driver, Arthur, and by a woman named Theresa, who was driving.

Earlier in the evening, I had been at a race track, and Arthur had driven me home.  I pay him from time to time to do this.  After I got out, I told Arthur to take my daughter-in-law home, and then to take her boyfriend home.  I told Arthur nothing else than to do that.

I do not know Theresa, and neither had Arthur.  He says that he saw her smiling at him.  He thought he knew her, and stopped the car, and let her in.  She asked him to take her home.  First, Arthur drove the car.  Then his new friend wanted to drive it.  She said she was an expert, and he allowed her.

A: Arthur was supposed to be working for you.  Your attorney will contend that Arthur was not engaged in your business at the time of the accident.  Whether an employee or merely a friend, he had never received any general permission to use the car, and you had never given Arthur permission to entrust any one else with the driving or management of the vehicle.  His duty was to return at once.

It appears that Arthur’s flirtation with a chance passer-by led him to invite her to enter the car.  He then departed entirely from his responsibilities and any scope of your permission, and was engaged on an expedition for his own purposes and pleasure, when the accident occurred under the guidance of his new friend.

Your attorney will argue that, under these circumstances, you cannot be held liable.  However, your attorney must then fend off a number of serious counter-questions: such as, had Arthur ever done this before?

By: Scott Baron,
Attorney at Law Advertorial

The law responds to changed conditions; exceptions and variations abound. Here, the information is general; always seek out competent counsel. This article shall not be construed as legal advice.

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