Part one of a three-part series on negligent entrustment
By Kevin Reilly, Editorial Communications Manager, The CEI Group, Inc.
Negligent entrustment – two words that keep the experienced fleet manager up at night.
And yet, there are still fleets, large and small, that are not in a position to defend themselves from this form of liability.
Negligent entrustment occurs when an employer allows an employee to drive on company business when the employer should have known that that employee was unfit for the road. The key word in this definition is “should.” The onus is on the employer to execute their due diligence before allowing an employee behind the wheel for business, and a company cannot claim they “didn’t know” about the reckless history or habits a driver possessed when they gave that driver the keys.
No two fleets are the same, and the liability issues they face are just as unique as the rest of their operations. Some fleets don’t have a safety policy at all, or a weak one at best, and these fleets are one negligent claim away from a lawsuit.