automobile, vicarious liability, lessors


The Comment begins by discussing the New York Vehicle and Traffic Law Section 388, which makes lessors vicariously liable for their cars even when they are begin leased by others, and how this led many car companies in New York to stop offering leases in the 1920's, the Comment will recommends that Section 388 be amended to exclude lessors from vicarious liability. The Comment then goes through the history of Section 388, explains what leasing is and why it is popular, looks at the recent impact of Section 388 which includes several companies have stopped leasing in New York, looks at current legislation for and against Section 388, examines the various theories of vicarious liability, such as enterprise liability, the control test, and externalities. The Comment concludes by saying that Section 388 should be repealed and lessors should not be vicariously liable for lessees because finance companies acting as insurers is inefficient and expensive, and actual insurance companies would be better and cheaper alternatives.

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