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Price v. Halstead
West Virginia Supreme Court of Appeals
355 S.E.2d 380 (1987)
Kenneth Wall was driving with his wife, Louise Wall (plaintiff), and their two minor children. Stephen Garretson (defendant) was speeding in the opposite direction with passengers (defendants) while under the influence of alcohol and marijuana. Both before and during the trip, Garretson and his passengers drank beer and smoked marijuana. All the passengers provided Garretson with beer and marijuana. Garretson lost control of his automobile and hit the Walls’ vehicle head-on, killing Kenneth. The administrator of Kenneth’s estate (plaintiff) and Louise sued Garretson and his passengers under four theories. First, they alleged that Garretson and his passengers were in a joint venture of purchasing and utilizing gas, beer, and marijuana while joyriding. Second, they alleged Garretson and his passengers’ activities were a joint enterprise. Third, they alleged Garretson’s passengers were negligent in failing to restrain Garretson when they knew or should have known he was driving while under the influence. Finally, they relied on a theory of joint and concerted tortious activity under the Restatement (Second) of Torts § 876(b), alleging Garretson’s passengers substantially assisted or encouraged Garretson’s tortious activity by providing him with additional drugs and beer. The trial court dismissed the claim.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Miller, J.)
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