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What is the status of various state's/commonwealth's laws and decisions on whether a Plaintiff can be vicariously liable for their own car accident and injuries?

Attached is a copy of the link to the Pennsylvania Superior Court opinion issued yesterday (December 22, 2011) in Price v. Leibfried and Riviera Tavern involving an alcohol related car crash. In this case, Price and Leibfried were in an accident where Price was a passenger and Leibfried was the driver. However, Price was the owner of the vehicle. Leibfried was unlicensed and also intoxicated. The trial court held that Price could not recover from Leibfried because she was vicariously liable for her own injuries for knowingly permitting an unauthorized/unlicensed person to drive her vehicle under Section 1574 of the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.

The Superior Court holds that Summary Judgment was proper by the trial court because their was a “complete absence of evidence suggesting that Price did not give Leibfried permission to drive her car. Consequently, as a matter of law, Price violated section 1574(a) of the Vehicle Code, and, therefore, she is vicariously liable for Leibfried’s negligence.”

Scott B. Cooper
Schmidt Kramer PC
209 State Street
Harrisburg, PA 17101
(717) 232-6300 – Telephone
(717) 232-6467 – Facsimile

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