Wrongful Entrustment in Ohio
A recent news headline has brought a topic to light that I believe is very important. As a parent, family member or spouse, we all may be guilty of failing to look past the present moment and not using the best judgement. Our love and stress level may result in not clearly or rationally making decisions. Unfortunately, wrongful entrustment is the exact reason why foresight is so incredibly important.
In July, just at the Kirtland-Mentor, Ohio border, a 21-year-old driver was evading Kirtland Hills police when he lost control of his vehicle. The driver was subsequently charged with killing the passenger in that vehicle. The 21-year-old man was driving under a suspended license, and it is suspected that he was under the influence of alcohol at the time of the accident. While this may seem to be an open and shut case – the most recent development and wrongful entrustment charge against a 62-year-old Painesville man highlights the complex nature of this case.
Defining Wrongful Entrustment
A wrongful entrustment charge can be brought against an individual who gives access to his or her vehicle to someone that should not be driving. Individuals can be charged with wrongful entrustment if the person driving is married to or related to by blood to the vehicle owner, within the same household.
Wrongful entrustment can be;
- Lending or allowing a driver to drive their car with a suspended license
- A driver that has been drinking or taking drugs, or otherwise unable to operate a vehicle
- A driver that cannot drive safely due to health issues or illness or medication
- A driver that does not have insurance
- A driver that does not have a license or learning permit.
Just as the charge implies, wrongful entrustment means that you have allowed someone use of your vehicle, while knowing or reasonably being expected to know, that they are unable to safely and/or legally operate the vehicle.
This case tragically highlights the exact importance of the wrongful entrustment theory and charge. As a community, as a parent and as a human being, our hearts break for the young 20 year old that lost her life.
If you or someone you love was injured or killed in a motor vehicle accident and you believe that there is culpability beyond the driver, you must contact me immediately.
I’ll be there for you, and I’ll Make Them Pay!®
Author: Tim Misny | For over four decades, personal injury lawyer Tim Misny has represented the injured victim in in birth injury, medical malpractice, and catastrophic injury/wrongful death cases, serving Cleveland, Akron/Canton, Columbus, Dayton and neighboring communities. You can reach Tim by email at misnylaw.com/ask-tim-a-question/ or call at 877.944.4373.