Mugleston v. Glaittli

In Mugleston v. Glaittli, 123 Utah 238, 258 P.2d 438 (1953), a father owned an automobile and a panel truck. Upon leaving home one evening with his wife, he warned his fifteen-year-old son to leave the vehicles alone except to drive them from the street into the yard and to particularly not get any "bright or funny ideas" about driving them elsewhere. When the father left, the son drove the car into the yard but departed on a joy ride with some friends in the panel truck. An accident occurred in which the plaintiff, one of the son's friends, was injured. At trial, there was testimony to the effect that the father had in the past allowed his son to drive his car around the neighborhood. The trial court awarded judgment against the father upon the theory that anyone who negligently leaves his automobile where it is available to a minor under sixteen is absolutely liable for any injuries caused by the minor while driving. Upon appeal, the Court reversed the judgment, noting that there was no evidence that the owner caused or knowingly permitted the operation of the truck by his son, but, in fact, the owner had expressly forbidden his son to drive the vehicle. The Court further stated that the authorization to drive the vehicles into the yard cannot be construed to be general permission to use the vehicles in any other manner or for any other purpose.