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PERSONAL INJURY: Superior Court holds car owner who loaned vehicle to driver while driver’s own car was being repaired not vicariously liable for driver’s negligence

PERSONAL INJURY: Superior Court Holds Car Owner Who Loaned Vehicle To Driver While Driver’s Own Car Was Being Repaired Not Vicariously Liable For Driver’s Negligence

The defendant driver was operating a vehicle loaned to him by the defendant auto body shop that was painting his vehicle when he was involved in a motor vehicle accident.  The plaintiff sued the driver for negligence and the auto body shop on a theory of vicarious liability.

The shop moved for summary judgment, claiming that the driver was not an employee, the vehicle was provided for his own use while his car was being repaired, and the driver was not acting as the shop’s agent at any time while using the car.  The driver also admitted that he had his own insurance policy. Thus, the shop claimed immunity under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 14-60.

The Superior Court held that while the defendant auto body shop was not exempt from vicarious liability by operation of § 14-60, it agreed with the shop as to the agency issue.  It held that the defendant had rebutted the presumption of agency under Conn. Gen. Stat. § 52-183 and granted its motion for summary judgment.

Rodriguez v. Mapp, CV17-6074136-S (01/12/2018)

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