EDMUNDO AMPARAN; KIMBERLY L. AMPARAN, Plaintiffs - Appellants,
LAKE POWELL CAR RENTAL COMPANIES, Defendant-Appellee, and MEVLUT BERKAY DEMIR; DENIZCAN KARADENIZ; PV HOLDING CORPORATION, a Delaware corporation, Defendants.
from the United States District Court for the District of New
Mexico (D.C. No. 1:15-CV-00045-WJ-GJF)
C. Bird (Kurt Wihl with him on the briefs), Keleher &
McLeod, P.A., Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Plaintiffs -
F. Gentile (Jonathan A. Garcia with him on the brief),
Guebert Bruckner P.C., Albuquerque, New Mexico, for Defendant
BACHARACH, MURPHY, and McHUGH, Circuit Judges.
McHUGH, Circuit Judge
Amparan and Kimberly L. Amparan (the "Amparans")
appeal from the district court's grant of summary
judgment in favor of Lake Powell Car Rental Companies
("Lake Powell") on the Amparans' claims for
negligent entrustment and loss of consortium. The claims
arose from a vehicle accident involving a motorcycle operated
by Mr. Amparan and a Ford Mustang rented by Lake Powell to
Denizcan Karadeniz and operated by Mevlut Berkay Demir. Mr.
Karadeniz and Mr. Demir are both Turkish nationals who were
under the age of twenty-five at the time of the accident.
Because the Amparans failed to come forward with evidence
from which the jury could find an essential element of their
claim for negligent entrustment, we affirm.
14, 2014, a group of Turkish nationals, including Mr.
Karadeniz, visited Lake Powell to rent two vehicles. Mr.
Karadeniz produced a valid Turkish driver's license and a
valid credit card. Mert Tacir, another member of the group,
produced a valid Turkish driver's license. The owner and
operator of Lake Powell, Paul Williams, asked the remaining
individuals in the group if they possessed valid driver's
licenses. Mr. Demir responded that he possessed a valid
driver's license. At the time of the rental, Mr.
Karadeniz, Mr. Tacir, and Mr. Demir were all twenty-one years
Mr. Williams recognized that Mr. Karadeniz and Mr. Tacir were
under the age of twenty-five, he nonetheless agreed to rent a
Dodge Caravan and a Ford Mustang to Mr. Karadeniz and to
permit Mr. Tacir to be an additional authorized driver for
the Ford Mustang. None of the other members of the group,
including Mr. Demir, completed an "Additional Driver
Application/Agreement."Evidence in the record supports
the conclusion that Mr. Williams's decision to rent two
vehicles to an individual under the age of twenty-five and to
permit an additional driver under the age of twenty-five
violated internal policies propagated by Lake Powell's
licensor, Avis Rent A Car Systems, LLC
("Avis"). The Amparans further contend that Lake
Powell's rental and entrustment of the vehicles to
individuals under twenty-five ran contrary to age-based
restrictions employed by other companies in the car rental
the course of the rental, Mr. Demir operated the Ford
Mustang. Mr. Demir, unfamiliar with the traffic rules
governing left turns at intersections, turned left on a
standard green light without yielding to oncoming traffic.
Mr. Amparan, traveling in the oncoming direction,
unsuccessfully attempted to swerve to avoid hitting the
turning vehicle operated by Mr. Demir and the two vehicles
collided. As a result of the collision, Mr. Amparan alleges
he suffered multiple broken bones, a punctured lung, and
various other injuries.
Amparans commenced this action by filing a complaint in New
Mexico state court, naming Mr. Demir, Mr. Karadeniz, and Avis
as defendants. Avis removed the action to federal court.
After an initial round of discovery, the district court
granted the Amparans leave to amend their complaint and the
Amparans added Lake Powell as a defendant. Relevant to this
appeal, the amended complaint raised claims against Lake
Powell for negligent entrustment and loss of
Powell moved for summary judgment. Relative to the negligent
entrustment claim, Lake Powell argued, in part, that, even if
it implicitly entrusted the Ford Mustang to Mr. Demir, it
neither knew nor should have known that Mr. Demir was likely
to operate the Ford Mustang in such a manner as to create an
unreasonable risk of harm to others. Subsequent to Lake
Powell's motion for summary judgment, the Amparans filed
a notice of testifying expert, identifying James S. Tennant
as an expert on both the risk posed by young drivers and
standards of care in the car rental industry. The Amparans
also contested Lake Powell's motion for summary judgment,
arguing in part that Lake Powell's violation of internal
policies regarding renting to, or approving as additional
drivers, individuals under twenty-five constituted sufficient
evidence to permit the finding that Lake Powell knew or
should have known that Mr. Demir was likely to operate the