Rental company gave out a car to a guy with a fake ID in turn he took the car and sold it to me. Do I have a case against the rental company for renting a vehicle without properly checking identification etc?

Rental company rented out a 2016 jeep
cherokee to a man with a fake ID who in
turn sold the car to me for cash. Do I
have a case against the rental company
for renting out the vehicle

Asked on June 12, 2017 under Business Law, California


SJZ, Member, New York Bar / FreeAdvice Contributing Attorney

Answered 3 years ago | Contributor

No, you do not have a case vs. the rental company: 
1) You write that he had a fake ID--therefore, whether or not they checked it would be irrelevant, since if they did check, they would get the fake identity. (Businesses are not expected to do deep background checks or question IDs, since that is considered unreasonable; simply looking at an ID is considered enough.) Since whether or not they checked the ID (using the above-described appropriate level of care) would not have affected the outcome, they would not be liable for a failure to check.
2) People and businesses are only potentially liable for the reasonably (commonly; logically) foreseeable results of their behavior. The causal link between renting a car under a fake ID and it being sold to someone else is too tenous or removed to support liability.

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