Torts II, Pages 724–725

Malchose v. Kalfell

Supreme Court of North Dakota, 2003


Eric Kalfell and plaintiff were involved in a motor vehicle accident. Plaintiff sued both Eric and his parents under the family car doctrine and negligent entrustment.

Procedural History:

Trial court found Eric Kalfell at fault for the negligence and his parents liable under the family car doctrine.


Are defendants liable under the family car rule?


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The family car doctrine places liability on the owner of a vehicle for negligent operation by a person using the vehicle with the express or implied consent of the owner for purposes of the business or pleasure of the owner's family.


The parents owned the vehicle at the time of the accident. While it was used as collateral for a loan for Eric, this does not prove a transfer of ownership. Even if it did, he could not maintain it without his parents' financial support.


Yes, defendants are laible under the family car doctrine. Affirmed.