FREDRICK S. FREIBOTT secured a very large settlement on behalf of his clients when he successfully argued in the Superior Court of Delaware that the parents of the son who killed his client’s husband were also liable based upon a new, and modern, interpretation regarding the law of negligent entrustment. The parents loaned money to their son so he could buy a car even though they knew their son accumulated so many points on his driver’s license that he had to be excluded from his parents’ car insurance. The parents also knew that their son had been charged in the past with possession of Ketamine, an animal tranquilizer, and had his driver’s license revoked for two years. Moreover, the parents were very sure that their son continued to drink alcohol prior to the motor vehicle collision that killed the client’s husband. Mr. Freibott was also able to show that the son had been involved in an automobile collision several months prior to the one that caused death to his client’s husband wherein the son fled the scene of the collision and appeared dazed and confused when confronted by the Wilmington Police Department.
This case represents one of the first times that a Court, not only in Delaware, but in the United States, held that the loaning of money by parents to an adult child to purchase a vehicle, with the knowledge that their son was a poor driver and had a history of substance abuse, could be found liable under a negligent entrustment theory (Tovar v. Balakhani).