Fla. Panel Says Fed. Law Can't Shield Car Dealer In Crash Suit

By Nathan Hale (January 7, 2022, 6:14 PM EST) -- A Florida state appeals court ruled Friday that a federal statute that shields car dealers from liability for harm caused by vehicles they rented or leased does not allow a dealership to avoid a woman's lawsuit over a 2015 crash involving a loaner vehicle it provided to a customer.

In an 11-page opinion, the Fifth District Court of Appeal found that a lower court erred when it granted summary judgment to defendant Fields Motorcars of Florida Inc. in Natasha Romero's lawsuit based on the Winter Park-based business's invoking the so-called Graves Amendment.

"Because the plain meaning of the phrase 'rents or...

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