30 Ark. L. Rev. 288 (1976-1977)
Negligent Entrustment Revisited: Developments 1966-1976

handle is hein.journals/arklr30 and id is 320 raw text is: Negligent Entrustment Revisited:
Developments 1966-76
Henry Woods*
Negligent Entrustment: Evaluation of a Frequently Over-
looked Source of Additional Liability,1 written by the present
author and published in this law review in 1966, provided a
broad incisive analysis into this much neglected area of tort
liability. This article has been frequently cited by the courts
and has been described as a trenchant discussion of this
corner of the law.2 The author now brings this article to date.
EXTENSION OF THE DOCTRINE
An interesting Federal tort claim case, Williams v. U.S.,3 was
decided by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit in 1965.
There an infantry sergeant at Fort Benning had inadvertently
carried home an M-80 Firecracker. These devices were used
in field exercises to simulate the sound of grenades, mortar shells
and other exploding weapons. Although it has the appearance
of an ordinary firecracker, it is a much more powerful explosive.
All unused M-80's were supposed to be returned to the supply
depot, but the sergeant inadvertently left two in his field jacket.
These were placed in a cigar box in a dresser drawer at his off-
base home and forgotten. He was sent overseas but his wife
remained in Georgia. Plaintiff, a 13-year-old baby sitter, saw
the box and inquired of the wife about its contents. The wife
opened the box and gave plaintiff one of the M-80's. Thinking
it was an ordinary firecracker, he lit the fuse and was severely
injured in the ensuing explosion. The U.S. District Judge dis-
missed the plaintiff's case but the Court of Appeals reversed.
Judge Wisdom's opinion pointed out that there were two
basic theories under which the government could be held respon-
* Member of the firm of McMath, Leatherman & Woods; Little
Rock, Arkansas.
1. 20 ARK. L. REv. 101 (1966). This article was based on a lecture
on negligent entrustment presented by the writer at the 1966 annual
meeting of the Association of Trial Lawyers of America.
2. Lambert, Comment on Williams v. U.S., 352 F.2d 477 (5th Cir.
1965), 32 AM. TRIAL LAw. J. 183, 193 (1968).
3. Williams v. United States, 352 F.2d 477 (5th Cir. 1965).

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