Kevin Mitchell, a New York Resident rented a 2000 Dodge Durango from Budget-Rent-A-Car in Hartford, Connecticut on May 26, 2000. Budget-Rent-A-Car is a Delaware company where the main offices are in Illinois. The vehicle is registered in Connecticut under Team Fleet Financing Corporation, which is also a Delaware company with the main offices in Illinois. The following day Mr. Mitchell was driving the car on Route I-81 in Ryan Township, Pennsylvania with Tahani Roper, Tracy Brown and Thais Mitchell as passengers. A witness said in an attempt to over-take another vehicle, the car swerved of the road, hit a guardrail and went down an embankment. The vehicle flipped multiple times, which caused some of the passengers to be thrown out of the vehicle. Tahani Roper, an infant died instantly. Tracy Brown, the baby’s mother, and Thais Mitchell claim to have been seriously injured.
After the accident, Tracy Brown and Thais Mitchell filed a case in the New York Supreme Court against Kevin Mitchell, Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation. Thais Mitchell appeared for himself and Tahani Roper, the baby who died. As for the defendants, their allegation was that Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation were also liable for the careless driving of Mr. Mitchell.
Under the New York law, there is an explicit liability that is given to the vehicle owners for the negligence of driver’s who are using the vehicle with the owner’s permission. It does not matter if the accident occurs outside New York according to a Lawyer. With this in mind, you would think that Budget-Rent-A-Car and Team Fleet Financing Corporation are accountable for the accident.