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3.7-20 Presumption of Agency - General Statutes § 52-183

New June 1, 2012

In Connecticut, we have a statute called the "presumption of agency" doctrine, which provides that if the driver of a motor vehicle is not the owner of the vehicle, the driver is presumed to be the agent and servant of the owner and driving the vehicle in the course of (his/her) employment, unless the defendant proves otherwise.  This makes the owner of a car driven by the owner’s agent liable to the same extent as the driver unless the owner proves that the driver was not authorized to drive the vehicle or was not driving the vehicle in the course of (his/her) employment.  In this case, <name of defendant owner> presented evidence through which (he/she) attempted to prove the driver was <insert as applicable:>

  • not authorized to drive the motor vehicle
  • not driving the vehicle in the course of (his/her) employment.
It is up to you to determine whether the evidence presented was sufficient to do so. If it was, then <name of defendant owner> cannot be held liable. If it was not, then you must find <name of defendant owner> liable to the same extent as the driver.

Authority

General Statutes § 52-183; Matthiessen v. Vanech, 266 Conn. 822, 837-38 (2003).


 

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