Defendants Steven Michaels and Lizabeth Michaels’ Motion for Summary Judgment is denied.
“[F]rom commencement to conclusion, the party moving for summary judgment bears the burden of persuasion that there is no triable issue of material fact and that he is entitled to judgment as a matter of law.” (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co.(2001) 25 Cal.4th 826, 850.) “A prima facie showing is one that is sufficient to support the position of the party in question.” (Id. at p. 851.) A defendant moving for summary judgment satisfies his or her initial burden by showing that one or more elements of the cause of action cannot be established or that there is a complete defense to the cause of action. ( Code Civ. Proc., § 437c, subd. (p)(2).) The scope of this burden is determined by the allegations of the plaintiff’s complaint. (FPI Development v. Nakashima (1991) 231 Cal.App.3d 367, 381-382 [pleadings serve as the outer measure of materiality in a summary judgment motion]; 580 Folsom Associates v. Prometheus Development Co. (1990) 223 Cal.App.3d 1, 18-19 [defendant only required to defeat allegations reasonably contained in the complaint].)
A cause of action cannot be established if the undisputed facts presented by the defendant prove the contrary of the plaintiff’s allegations as a matter of law. (Brantley v. Pisaro (1996) 42 Cal.App.4th 1591, 1597.) Alternatively, a moving defendant can show that a cause of action cannot be established by submitting evidence, such as discovery admissions and responses, that plaintiff does not have and cannot reasonably obtain evidence to establish an essential element of his cause of action. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., supra, 25 Cal.4th at pp. 854-855; Union Bank v. Superior Court (1995) 31 Cal.App.4th 573, 590 [finding moving defendant may show plaintiff’s lack of evidence by factually devoid discovery responses after plaintiff has had adequate opportunity for discovery]; see Scheiding v. Dinwiddie Constr. Co. (1999) 69 Cal.App.4th 64, 80-81 [finding Union Bank rule only applies where discovery requests are broad enough to elicit all such information].) Once a defendant meets its prima facie showing, the burden shifts to the plaintiff to show by reference to specific facts the existence of a triable issue as to that affirmative defense or cause of action. (Aguilar v. Atlantic Richfield Co., supra, 25 Cal.4th at p. 850.)
To the extent Defendants object to Plaintiff’s evidence, the court declines to rule on the evidentiary objections, as they fail to comply with California Rule of Court 3.1354.
The elements of a negligent entrustment claim are: (1) there was an entrustment of a chattel; (2) to an entrustee who was incompetent, inexperienced, or reckless, or to an incapacitated person or one who is incapable of using due care; (3)by an entrustor with a superior right to control the property (the requisite control involves the ability to determine whether another may use a potentially dangerous instrumentality); (4) who knew or had reason to know of the entrustee’s limitations or proclivities; (5) the entrustment created an appreciable risk of harm to the plaintiff and a relational duty on the part of the defendant; (6) harm or damages to the plaintiff ensued; (7) proximately or legally caused by negligence of the defendant. (Diaz v. Carcamo (2011) 51 Cal.4th 1148, 1157.) Knowledge of prior accidents by the driver borrowing the car has been found sufficient for negligent entrustment liability. (Allen v. Toledo (1980) 109 Cal.App.3d 415, 419.) The totality of the circumstances must be viewed in determining liability. (Hartford Accident & Indem. Co. v. Abdullah (1979) 94 Cal.App.3d 81, 94.)
Even assuming Defendants have met their initial burden, there are triable issues of material facts as to Defendants’ liability for negligent entrustment, specifically, whether they knew or had reason to know of Andrew Michaels’ alleged incompetence, recklessness, immaturity, or unfit behavior. Plaintiff references the following facts: 1) Andrew had prior traffic violations; 2) Andrew had three prior motor vehicle accidents, including one in which bodily injury occurred to him; 3) Andrew had two prior Penal Code violations; 4) Andrew’s driver’s license was previously suspended for drug use; 5) Andrew used marijuana frequently; 6) Andrew consumed alcohol while under the legal age and in the presence of his parents; and 7) Defendants knowingly allowed Andrew to associate with others suspected of drug and alcohol abuse while operating Defendants’ vehicle. (Plaintiff’s Additional Facts Nos. 12- 25.) All of that creates triable issues of material as to liability for negligent entrustment.
Defendants argue that there is no evidence that Andrew was ever charged or convicted with driving under the influence, or that the traffic offenses met the criteria for recklessness under the Vehicle Code. However, Defendants have cited no legal authority that such evidence is necessary to find negligent entrustment. Once more, the totality of the circumstances determine whether liability attaches. Accordingly, the motion for summary judgment is denied.
Plaintiff shall give notice of the ruling.