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Agency and Liability

Consider the following fact pattern. Jack tells several area car dealers that because of his special expertise with sports cars, the wealthy Dr. Robbins has hired him to find the doctor a unique sports car. Jack looks at many cars and test-drives quite a few of them. Jack finds one he believes Dr. Robbins would especially like. Jack tells the dealer that he'll accept the car on the doctor's behalf and will come back later with the money for the purchase of the car. Jack leaves in the car, drives two miles, and smashes the car into a utility pole, totaling the vehicle.

By what legal theory might Dr. Robbins be responsible for the damage? How might he not be?
Assume that Robbins liked the car, and before the crash, he approved the agreement to purchase. Now, who will bear the loss?

Solution Preview

This problem has several contract issues but if we focus just on agency, here is the outcome.

Dr. Robbins will be responsible for the damage if Jack had apparent authority to bind Dr. Robbins as the principal to the purchase. Apparent authority is present when the ...

Solution Summary

By what legal theory might Dr. Robbins be responsible for the damage? How might he not be?
Assume that Robbins liked the car, and before the crash, he approved the agreement to purchase. Now, who will bear the loss?

$2.19