Attorney Thomas P. Armstrong successfully obtained Summary Judgment in a case venued in Ulster County. This case involved a young woman who test drove a motorcycle from our client’s company who sold used vehicles. Our client was previously owned by the father of the current CEO. The father was selling the motorcycle for a friend to pay his friends’ funeral expenses. The father held the title and the young woman grew up with and knew the father for many years. She asked if she could come and test drive the motorcycle. She came to the dealership one day and because of their close relationship, she took the helmet and keys to this motorcycle from the owner over his objection and drove the motorcycle down the road and ended up driving erratically and overcorrecting into the other lane of travel and collided head on with a SUV and she was thrown from the vehicle and she died in the accident.
The decedent’s Mother brought a negligent entrustment action on behalf of the Estate and a personal action on her own behalf. We successfully argued that our client did not owe a duty of care to the plaintiff as our insured was not a proper party to the action, as they never owned the vehicle or held it out for sale, but rather it was another person (the father) who was selling the vehicle as it was titled in his name and he held out the vehicle for sale personally on behalf of a friend and the plaintiff knew that he was selling it personally.