A car owned by Hertz, leased to Codling, and driven by D collided with P's car.
P sued D and Hertz under a bailment theory.
Trial court found for P.
MN Supreme Court affirmed, found for P>
Is a rental car company liable when one of its cars is leased by one person but operated by another in violation of the rental agreement.
A rental car company is liable when one of its cars is leased by one person but operated by another in violation of the rental agreement.
Statute says that when a car is operated by any person other than the owner, with consent of the owner, express or implied, the operator shall be deemed the agent of the owner.
The intent of the statute is to make the owners of cars liable to those injured where no such liability would normally exist.
The court cannot read into the statute the restriction that the particular driver must be known by and his driving consented to by the owner.
Proving lack of consent requires a strong showing that the car was being used by the permittee without the owner's knowledge and contrary to his explicit instructions, or that the sub-permittee was driving without the permission of the first permittee under conditions which approach the status of conversion or theft.