The California Court of Appeal recently held, in an unpublished opinion, that a company that failed to intervene when a truck driver may have appeared drunk while loading their cargo was not liable for the resulting injuries caused by that driver. This opinion focused on the fact that since no special relationship had been alleged, the company could not be liable for its omission (failing to act). In stating that they found no duty on the part of the company, the court noted that it was a harsh rule, the rule of non-liability for nonfeasance.
After a fatal truck accident, surviving family members brought a lawsuit against the truck driver, his employer, and the onion company where the driver loaded his truck. At issue on appeal was whether the lower court had properly found that the onion company was not liable under an entrustment allegation, denying the plaintiffs’ request to amend and allege misfeasance, since the driver had appeared drunk, and the company had not refused to load the truck. In their appeal, the plaintiffs contended that they should have been able to amend their complaint.