Allowing An Incompetent Driver Whose License Was Suspended to Drive
Twenty-one Del. C. 4182 provides as follows:
Unattended motor vehicles.
No person driving or in charge of a motor vehicle shall permit it to stand unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition; removing the key and effectively setting the brake thereon and, when standing upon the grade, turning the front wheels to the curb of the side of the highway.
The elements of negligent entrustment are:
entrustment of the automobile
to a reckless or incompetent driver whom
the entrustor has reason to know is reckless or incompetent
resulting damages." Harris v. Harris, Del. Super., 1997 WL 366855 (1977).
An entrustment may be found without express permission, where a pattern of prior conduct implies permissive use. Demby v. Davis, 212 Va. 836, 188 S.E.2d 226 (1972). a course of conduct may, therefore, establish permissive use without the necessity of the plaintiff showing specific authority in a single instance. Thomas v. Henson, 249 Ark. 324, 459 S.W.2d 124 (1970); Levy v. McMullen, 169 Miss. 659, 152 So. 899 (1934).
To satisfy this permissive use approach, it need only be found that the owner knew, or had reasonable cause to know, that his or her actions would place the operation of a motor vehicle in the care of a person unfit to handle that responsibility. Demby v. Davis at 229. the entrustment must, however, be voluntary on the part of the owner, and effective to give possession and control of the motor vehicle to the driver. Swanson v. Comeaux, 286 So.2d 117 (La. 1973). 1989 W.L. at 112039.