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Florida Fourth DCA rules that owner sleeping in back seat of vehicle was entitled to $100,000 cap on liability under F.S. 324.021(9)(b)(3) because he "loaned" vehicle to driver

On June 21, 2017, in Richbell v. Toussaint, 4D14-4549, the Florida Fourth DCA reversed a trial court’s ruling that a motor vehicle owner was not entitled to a $100,000 cap on his liability under F.S. 324.021(9)(b)(3) in a motor vehicle negligence case. Where a natural person “loans” a motor vehicle to any permissive user, F.S. 324.011(9)(b)(3) caps the owner’s vicarious liability at $100,000 per injured person, $300,000 per accident, with additional limits for economic damages depending on the permissive user’s insurance coverage. In this case, the owner of the vehicle was in the vehicle at the time of the accident, sleeping in the back seat while the at-fault driver operated the vehicle. The Court reasoned that the temporary control of the car by a passenger fell within the parameters of a loan.