Rogers v. MFA Mut. Ins. Co

In Rogers v. MFA Mut. Ins. Co., 262 Ark. 55, 554 S.W.2d 327 (Ark. 1977), a father was awarded custody of his daughter in a divorce proceeding, and the father permitted the daughter to visit her mother. On one visit, the daughter collided with another vehicle while she was driving her mother's car, injuring the other driver. Id. The other driver sued the father, claiming he was liable under a statute imputing the negligence of a minor to the person who had signed the minor's driver's license application. Id. at 328-30. The parties stipulated the daughter was not on a personal or business mission for the father at the time of the collision. Id. at 328. The policy in Rogers provided coverage for the insured's "actual use" of a non-owned auto, and the issue was whether the insured father was engaged in the actual use of a non-owned auto when he gave his daughter permission to use the mother's car. Id. at 330. The court interpreted the term "actual use" to "include that use which is imputed to an individual through what is known in law as vicarious liability," and ruled the statute "places a parent in the position of an actual user of an automobile any time the parent knowingly permits a minor to drive an automobile upon a highway," thereby making the father "a user of the non-owned automobile within the meaning of the policy at the time of the collision . . . ." Id.