“[W]here a plaintiff claims she was harmed because of a defendant’s actions in negligently permitting a driver to use the defendant’s vehicle, the plaintiff must prove all of the following:
1. That [the driver] was negligent in operating the vehicle;
2. That [the defendant] was an owner of the vehicle operated by [name of driver];
3. That [the defendant] knew, or should have known, that [the driver] was incompetent or unfit to drive the vehicle;
4. That [the defendant] permitted [the driver] to use the vehicle; and
5. That [the driver]'s incompetence or unfitness to drive was a substantial factor in causing harm to [the plaintiff].”
Jeld-Wen, Inc. v. Superior Court, 131 Cal. App. 4th 853, 863-64 (2005) (quoting from Judicial Council of California Civil Jury Instructions 1-700 CACI 724).
“"The doctrine of 'negligent entrustment' is clearly distinguishable from the theory of 'vicarious liability.' Negligent entrustment is a common law liability doctrine. [Citation.] Conversely, the obligation of a lending owner of an automobile is one of statutory liability. [Citation.] An owner of an automobile may be independently negligent in entrusting it to an incompetent driver. [Citation.] California is one of several states which recognizes the liability of an automobile owner who has entrusted a car to an incompetent, reckless, or inexperienced driver, . . ." Hartford Acci. & Indem. Co. v. Abdullah, 94 Cal. App. 3d 81, 90-91 (1979).
“Liability for negligent entrustment is determined by applying general principles of negligence, and ordinarily it is for the jury to determine whether the owner has exercised the required degree of care.” Truong v. Nguyen, 156 Cal. App. 4th 865, 875 (2007).
“A person injured by someone driving a car in the course of employment may sue not only the driver but that driver's employer. The employer can be sued on two legal theories based on tort principles: respondeat superior and negligent entrustment. Respondeat superior, a form of vicarious liability, makes an employer liable, irrespective of fault, for negligent driving by its employee in the scope of employment. The theory of negligent entrustment makes an employer liable for its own negligence in choosing an employee to drive a vehicle.”
Diaz v. Carcamo, 51 Cal. 4th 1148, 1151-52 (2011).
CALIFORNIA STATE COURTS
Supreme Court of California: None.
California 1st District: Mettelka v. Superior Court, 173 Cal. App. 3d 1245, 1247-48 (1985).
California 2d District: Jacoves v. United Merchandising Corp., 9 Cal. App. 4th 88, 115 (1992).
California 3d District: Osborn v. Hertz Corp., 205 Cal. App. 3d 703,
California 4th District: Jeld-Wen, Inc. v. Superior Court, 131 Cal. App. 4th 853, 863-64 (2005).
California 5th District: Blake v. Moore, 162 Cal. App. 3d 700, 706 (1984).
California 6th District: White v. Inbound Aviation, 69 Cal. App. 4th 910, 920 (1999).
CALIFORNIA FEDERAL COURTS
United States Court of Appeal for the 9th Circuit: National Union Fire Ins. Co. v. Showa Shipping Co., No. 97-16374, 16375, 1999 U.S. App. LEXIS 516, at *3 (9th Cir. Jan. 13, 1999).
Central District: None.
Eastern District: Scott v. New Star Transp., Inc., No. CIV. S-10-2812 LKK/KJN, 2012 U.S. Dist. LEXIS 134990, at *18-19 (E.D. Cal. Sept. 20, 2012).
Northern District: Snyder v. Enter. Rent-A-Car Co., 392 F. Supp. 2d 1116, 1121 (N.D. Cal. 2005).
Southern District: None.