Thursday, April 15, 2010

Court reviews use of Family Purpose Doctrine in automobile accident case.

ROBERT STRINE, ET AL. v. JOSHUA WALTON, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. April 15, 2010)

On July 7, 2005, Ashley Strine (Plaintiff) was injured while riding in a vehicle being driven by Joshua Walton (Walton). The vehicle was owned by James Rice (Father), who had given the vehicle to his son, Kevin Rice (Son), for Son's personal use. On the day of the accident, Son had given Walton permission to use his vehicle to pick up Plaintiff. Walton and Plaintiff were planning on attending a birthday party later that day.

Plaintiff originally sued only Walton and Father. As to Father, Plaintiff asserted liability based on the family purpose doctrine and negligent entrustment. Over two years later, Son was added as a defendant. An order of compromise and dismissal was entered as to Walton. Thereafter, Father and Son filed a joint motion for summary judgment. The Trial Court granted Father summary judgment on Plaintiff's claims pursuant to the family purpose doctrine and negligent entrustment. With regard to Son, the Trial Court concluded that all claims against him were barred by the one-year statute of limitations. Plaintiff appeals. We affirm the judgment of the Trial Court.

Opinion may be found at:

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