Earlier this year, a federal appellate court issued a ruling in a negligent entrustment lawsuit filed by two individuals against a rental car company, whose patrons injured the plaintiffs in a New Mexico car accident.
In 2014, a group of 21-year-old men from Turkey rented a car from a rental company in Lake Powell. The individual who rented the car was able to provide the company with a Turkish driver’s license and a credit card; another person in the group also provided his Turkish license, and another positively affirmed that he possessed a license. Although all of the individuals were under 21, the rental car employee still permitted one of the individuals (D1) to rent both a caravan and a convertible, and he authorized the other person in the party to be listed as an authorized driver. However, no one in the group completed the additional driver application, including the third individual in the group (D2). Renting a car to an individual under 21 was noted to be a departure from company policy and contrary to policies followed by most other rental car companies.
During the rental, D2 was driving the convertible, turned left without yielding to traffic, and ran into the plaintiff. The collision resulted in the plaintiff suffering severe injuries, including broken bones and a punctured lung.