In a recent order obtained by Kahn Law Firm denying summary judgment by
a car rental company, a trial judge held that there were sufficient facts
to move forward on the case.
A car rental company argued that there was no duty in South Carolina which
requires a car rental company to perform a driving records check on a
renter. The court disagreed in its 24 page order.
Importantly, the Court agreed that there are many factors in addition
to merely possessing a valid driver’s license to consider before
supplying a car to just anyone. If there were reasons to believe a person
cannot safely operate a car, the car rental company had a responsibility
not to rent the car, even if the person was licensed. Under circumstances
where the car rental company acknowledged that the driver was unfit and
it knew enough that further inquiry was warranted, the Court determined
that the car rental company could be held liable.
Evidence was presented that newspaper articles, governmental publications
and others knew and used methods to rapidly determine one’s driving record.
In fact, the car rental company itself filed suit over 50 times for negligent
entrustment because it recognized a duty not to supply a person with a
dangerous instrumentality existed.
No one should be able to supply a dangerous instrumentality to someone
who is incompetent without being responsible for the harms and losses.