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An SUV passenger tells the driver the roadway to the rear is clear. When the driver backs he hits a motorcycle and injures a passenger on it. A Florida appeals court has just ruled that it is possible that the SUV passenger could be held liable for the injuries to the motorcycle passenger but certifies the matter to the Florida Supreme Court.

The driver of the SUV wants to back up, but cannot see if it is safe to do so. A passenger who claims to have a good view to the rear tells the driver the roadway is clear. When the driver backs he hits a motorcycle and injures a passenger on it.

A Florida appeals court has just ruled that it is possible that the SUV passenger could be held liable for the injuries to the motorcycle passenger. However, the court certified the question to the Florida Supreme Court for a final decision.

The appellate court held that the complaint sufficiently stated both the duty and causation elements of a cause of action for negligence. It further determined that the allegations sufficiently established that the SUV passenger undertook the duty of determining whether the driver’s intended path of travel was clear.

The question certified to the Florida Supreme Court is a mouthful – May a vehicular passenger be held liable to another vehicular passenger in circumstances where the potentially liable passenger was in a superior position to the driver of that passenger’s vehicle to observe a potential hazard and gave affirmative advice to the driver which resulted in a collision with the other passenger’s vehicle?

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