Andreea B. Roman
Julis Malpico Brown, George A. Panarello, III, Paul J. Hysock, Jr., and All Scoots LLC
Submitted: May 10, 2019
P. Hall, Esquire, Roger D. Landon, Esquire, Chase T.
Brockstedt, Esquire, Patrick G. Rock, Esquire.
Motion for Summary Judgment, I must decide whether a scooter
store, its owner, and an employee can be found liable for
injuries sustained in an accident involving the owner's
scooter that had been loaned by the employee to a customer
for his use while his personal scooter was undergoing
repairs. At the time of the accident, the scooter was being
operated by a relative of the customer.
injured party seeks to recover against the scooter store, its
owner, and the employee under a theory of negligent
entrustment. I find that the moving defendants are entitled
to judgment as a matter of law as they had no knowledge that
the scooter would be driven by anyone other than the customer
when it was loaned to him, and because the customer's
driving ability did not attribute to the injuries eventually
George A. Panarello, III ("Panarello") is the owner
of Defendant All Scoots, LLC ("All Scoots") which
operates as a scooter repair and storage business in Rehoboth
Beach, Delaware. Defendant Paul J. Hysock, Jr.
("Hysock") is a former employee of All Scoots.
of 2014, Walter Brown brought his scooter to All Scoots for
repairs. Hysock attempted to fix the scooter at that time but
was unsuccessful. In order for Walter Brown to get to work,
Hysock loaned him a scooter owned by Panarello that was
stored in the shop (the "All Scoots Loaner").
According to Hysock, Walter Brown did not appear to have any
difficulty operating the All Scoots Loaner as he drove away.
At that time, and unbeknownst to Hysock, Walter Brown's
driver's license had been suspended.
1, 2014, Panarello received a call from the Rehoboth Police
Department informing him that the All Scoots Loaner was in
the possession of someone an officer had stopped for acting
strangely. Shortly thereafter, Panarello went to All Scoots
and demanded that Hysock have the All Scoots Loaner returned.
Panarello also informed Hysock that he did not have
permission to loan out the scooter to customers.
then placed numerous phone calls to Walter Brown over a
period of several days requesting that he return the All
Scoots Loaner. Eventually, Walter Brown did bring the scooter
back but, due to continued problems with his personal
scooter, he was once again allowed to borrow the All Scoots
August 21, 2014, Plaintiff Andreea Roman (the
"Plaintiff) suffered severe injuries after she was
struck by Defendant Julis Malpico Brown driving the All
Scoots Loaner. Although Julis Brown is related to Walter
Brown, it is unclear how exactly he came to be in possession
of the All Scoots Loaner at the time of the accident.
Plaintiff filed suit against Mis Brown, Panarello, Hysock,
and All Scoots for the injuries she sustained in the accident
on August 15, 2016. The Plaintiff alleged that the moving
defendants were liable for her injuries under the doctrine of
negligent entrustment. Additionally, the Plaintiff alleged
that All Scoots was liable for the conduct of Hysock under
the theory of respondeat superior. A judgment by default was
entered against Julis Brown on April 20, 2018 for failing to
appear in the case. Panarello and All Scoots filed their
Motion for Summary Judgment on May 29, 2018. Hysock joined
the Motion for Summary Judgment on July 10, 2018.
OF THE PARTIES
and All Scoots argue that summary judgment is appropriate
because there is no evidence that any of the moving
defendants had any reason to believe that Walter Brown was a
reckless or incompetent driver when he was given the All
Scoots Loaner. They also contend that there is no evidence
that the moving defendants knew or should have known that
Walter Brown would entrust the scooter to Julis Brown.
Moreover, they point out that the record does not show that
Julis Brown was a reckless or incompetent driver when he
received that All Scoots Loaner from Walter Brown. ...