Floridians concerned about liability when sharing their automobiles with children or friends can relax a bit after the Florida Supreme Court’s recent ruling on the state’s long-standing dangerous instrumentality doctrine. Its decision in Emerson v. Lambert, SC 2020-1311(Fla. Nov. 16, 2023), once again limits the doctrine.

Essentially, the doctrine was created to place financial responsibility on individuals who entrust the use of “dangerous instrumentalities” (i.e., automobiles) to others. In the real world, the doctrine often arises in cases where commercial companies allow their employees to use company vehicles and an accident occurs while the employee is “entrusted” with the vehicle. Courts have applied the doctrine in a myriad of other c

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