Tag Archives: Vicarious liability

Auto Rental News Special Report: The Problem with Renting Fast Cars


I was a featured commentator in this report, the second highest viewed article of Auto Rental News in 2015: Traditional rental companies and leasing companies are protected by laws that eliminate vicarious liability (such as the federal Graves Amendment) or … Continue reading

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Dealership Arranged Leases: Is the Lessor Liable for the Lessee’s Negligent Operation of the Vehicle?


By Greg Johnson. A dealership leases a vehicle to a customer under a 48 month lease agreement. The lease is assigned to Honda Lease Trust, a leasing company, and administered by American Honda Finance Company. If the lessee-customer negligently causes … Continue reading

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The Problem with Renting Fast Cars: A Special Report of the Auto Rental News


I was recently interviewed in connection with a most interesting article by Chris Brown of the Auto Rental News: “Enter the world of brokering, where fleet funding, commercial insurance and even car ownership are not necessities. As the name suggests, … Continue reading

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Oops!! Self-Insured Owner of Rental Vehicle that had no Obligation to Afford Omnibus Coverage to Permissive Users not entitled to recover $260,000 Settlement Payment.


By Greg Johnson. In an unusual twist, a rental car company insisted it was obligated to pay damages to a third party who was injured by the permissive operator of its rental vehicle and the renter maintained it was not. … Continue reading

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The Graves Amendment: Does it Shield a Taxi-Cab Company from Vicarious Liability?


By Greg Johnson. Does the federal Graves Amendment apply to insulate taxi-cabs from vicarious liability for the negligence of their drivers? The issue is obviously important in the twelve jurisdictions which by statute impose vicarious liability on the owner of … Continue reading

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The Graves Amendment: Does it Shield Membership-Based Car Sharing Services from Vicarious Liability?


By Greg Johnson. Does the Graves Amendment apply to membership-based car-sharing companies like Zipcar? In a previous post, I provided an overview of the Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (49 USC § 30106) (a/k/a “Graves Amendment”), a federal law which … Continue reading

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The Graves Amendment: Is an Auto Dealer Vicariously Liable for a Customer’s Negligent Operation of a Loaner Vehicle?


By Greg Johnson. Does the Graves Amendment apply to auto dealerships who provide loaner vehicles to their customers? In a previous post, I provided an overview of the Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (49 USC § 30106) (a/k/a “Graves Amendment”), … Continue reading

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Odd Federal Graves Amendment Case: to Avoid Vicarious Liability Owner of Vehicle Must Prove its Affiliate was also Free of Negligence.


By Greg Johnson. In Stratton v. Wallace, 11-CV-74-A HKS, 2014 WL 3809479 (W.D.N.Y. Aug. 1, 2014), the court came to an odd result under the Graves Amendment (Transportation Equity Act of 2005 (49 USC § 30106)), a statute intended to … Continue reading

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Leasing, Rentals and Vicarious Liability: An Overview of the Graves Amendment


By Greg Johnson. Over the past twenty five years, I’ve represented many companies engaged in the business of leasing or renting vehicles.  In the 1990’s, prior to the passage of the Transportation Equity Act (49 USC § 30106) (a/k/a “Graves … Continue reading

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Commercial Auto: Owner of Semi-Trailer not Vicariously Liable for Negligent Operation of Semi-Truck.


What definition of “motor vehicle” applies when determining whether the Minnesota motor vehicle vicarious liability law applies?   The Minnesota Court of Appeals addressed the issue in late 2009. By 2005, only eleven states imposed vicarious liability on the owner of … Continue reading

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