Bizarre lawsuit: mechanic kills boss with car, car owner gets sued

Originally published at: Bizarre lawsuit: mechanic kills boss with car, car owner gets sued | Boing Boing


No, you really don’t.


Also in line for the law suite parade are the tire manufactures, those tires held air so they’re libel.


well, there’s another 1-star review for that shop.


And they had a tread design that allowed optimum traction, and therefore…


I wonder if the owner can then sue the dealership? For exposing him to such liability? Is that the way this will go down?


Though it seems counterintuitive and outrageous, I think this is standard operating procedure.

I was in a terrible car crash that was not the fault of the vehicle owner or driver. My lawyer sued the owner in order to reach his insurance company. A settlement was reached between the insurance company and two other parties who were clearly at fault.

Perhaps a lawyer who knows the domain could chime in here.


I read the entire article, this is in my backyard. What a messed up situation.

The dealership should have stepped up and settled but they would have to foot the bill on their own.

This whole thing is being driven by lawyers and insurance companies.

All of that is why we carry a 3 million dollar umbrella policy to cover anything like this that might come up. Of course I’m sure any claim would be fought by the insurance company.


I don’t see any explanation why the dealership cannot be sued.


The article linked to explains it.

A judge ruled the dealer does have to pay the judgment if the Jeep owner is found liable.

Of course the dealer is fighting that.


“The first thing we do, let’s kill all the lawyers.”

I know, I know, the problem is, then where do you stop?


Probably not, if they slip a forced arbitration clause into their statement-of-work agreements.


The owner has sued the dealership and a judge ruled the dealership must provide indemnity to the Jeep owner if he loses.

The dealership is, of course, fighting that.


The thing that seems so confusing to me is why it isn’t the business owners’ insurance that is being asked to pick up the bill rather than the car owner’s. If an employee had crushed his supervisor using a hydraulic jack instead of a customer’s car then surely it would be classified as a workplace accident rather than an automobile accident.


In Michigan, an injured coworker cannot sue the boss because of the boss’ negligence. According to FOX 2’s Charlie Langton, in this case, the boss is negligent because they hired someone who didn’t know how to drive a stick and didn’t even have a driver’s license.

Sounds like Michigan law needs to change. Why wouldn’t you be able to sue the boss because of the boss’ negligence? That makes no sense…unless it was just a corrupt legislative giveaway to business owners by the state government.

According to Langton, it would be the same if you took your car to a restaurant with a valet and you handed the keys over. Under state law, if the valet driver injures someone with your car, you are responsible.

Except I’d argue, probably unsuccessfully in court, that the car owner didn’t hand his keys to the employee, but to a representative of the company that the employer chose to trust. For the the car owner to be liable, you’d have to have some kind of system set up for the car owner to vet every employee of the company who might touch their car. That’s not practical legally or logistically. Nobody would ever get their car serviced if they had to do that.


Another reason to be thankful to be car free.


I mean, yes, apparently, they really do. If they want their clients—the family of the victim—to be compensated, anyway.

The Michigan law at issue here, which amounts to “the owner is the first defendant in line when there’s a car crash,” is basically sensible. It reduces, not increases, the interlocking tangles of lawsuits that result when you have multiple parties. In THIS case, it’s more complicated, because it’s intersecting in an unusual way with worker’s comp—which ALSO greatly improves things in most cases vs. the system in which each individual worker is responsible for suing their boss every time they get a minor injury on the job.

The indemnity ruling is a straightforward way of untangling this unique tangle. The car owner is being sued, but he is just a pass-through. One way or another, that will hold. I would bet my law license on it.*

* if I had one


Chelsea Peretti Eye Roll GIF by Brooklyn Nine-Nine


I’m wondering if this will be cover on the Legal Eagle youtube channel. It sounds like the sort of counter-intuitive case that he likes to explain.


“We think it was permissive use of the car!”
“The insurance company failed to prove it was an intentional act”
-Half the judges in Brooklyn dealing with insurance coverage issues.

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