Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Levitt v. Peluso case brief

Levitt v. Peluso

Subject: Vicarious liability for vehicle owners and the limits on this source of vicarious liability.
-P, a pedestrian, was blinded in one eye by an egg being thrown out of the passenger window of a car owned by D-1 (Eugene Peluso), and driven with permission by D-2 (Patrick Peluso), egg thrown by D-3 (Russell DiBendetto). 
-P alleged that owner (D-1) is vicariously liable.
-(Statute) imposes liability upon absent owner when 4 conditions met.
1. Death or injury to person or property, 
2. harm result of the operator’s negligence, 
3. Negligence arose from the use/operation of the vehicle, and 
 4. the operator was using the vehicle with the owners permission.
-No causal relationship is present in the throwing of objects from a moving vehicle.
The Court applies the Gholsen Test:
1. The accident must have arisen out of the inherent nature of the automobile.
2. As such, the accident must have arisen within the natural territorial limits of an automobile and the actual use, loading or unloading must have not been terminated.
3. The automobile must not have merely contributed to the cause and the conduction but itself must produce or be a proximate cause of the injury.
-The inherent nature of an automobile is to serve as a means of transportation to and from a certain location, and not to serve as a “launching pad” to project foreign matter such as eggs.
-The driving of the automobile was merely incidental.
D (owner) is not, individually, vicariously liable for co-D’s acts.

Class: Tort Law

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