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Survivors Sue Car Rental Company for Renter's Negligence

Garcia v. Vanguard Car Rental USA, Inc., 540 F.3d 1242 (C.A. 11, Aug. 19, 2008)

This case involves the question of whether Florida's attempt to impose strict vicarious liability on motor vehicle owners applies to car rental agencies. Two people were killed and one injured in a car wreck in Marion County, Florida involving Gregory Davis and the car he rented in Orlando, Florida from Vanguard (part of the National/Alamo group).

By common law and statute, Florida imposes vicarious liability on lessors of motor vehicles for the negligent acts of the lessee/operator. Vanguard filed a lawsuit in U.S. District Court (M.D. Fla.) for a declaratory judgment that the Graves Amendment preempted any claims against the Vanguard companies for wrongful death or bodily injury in connection with the Davis accident. The decedents’ estates and surviving spouses sued the rental car companies in Florida state court for wrongful death.

The wrongful death actions were removed to federal court and consolidated with the declaratory judgment action. The parties moved for summary judgment and the District Court granted judgment in favor of the Vanguard companies, holding that the Graves Amendment, 49 U.S.C. 30106(a), preempted all of the state tort claims. The plaintiffs appealed.

In Florida, a rental car company can be held liable under the “dangerous instrumentality” doctrine, which imposes strict vicarious liability on the owner of a motor vehicle who voluntarily entrusts that vehicle to an individual whose negligent operation causes damage to another. The law also imposes a damage cap. The Graves Amendment states that rental car companies cannot be held liable for renting a car to an individual who, through his own negligence, causes damage. The savings clause of the Graves Amendment states that state law will not be preempted if it is a financial responsibility law.

The plaintiffs maintained that the Florida vicarious liability law is a financial responsibility law, in that it induces car rental companies to ensure that lessees are adequately insured. The Graves Amendment does not define “financial responsibility,” but using the plain meaning of the term, the Eleventh Circuit concluded that the Florida law did not fall into that category. The Court stated that financial responsibility laws for purposes of the Graves Amendment consist of legal requirements, not inducements.

The plaintiffs next argued that the Graves Amendment is unconstitutional because it is outside Congress’ commerce power. The commerce power permits regulating intrastate activities which substantially affect interstate commerce. The Court concluded that the rental car market has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. Furthermore, it was rational for Congress to perceive that strict vicarious liability laws, such as the Florida law, could have a negative effect on the car rental market, making interstate commerce more expensive and inhibited.

The appellate court affirmed the summary judgment in favor of the rental companies.

 

 

Judge(s): Kravitch
Jurisdiction: U.S. Court of Appeals, Eleventh Circuit
Related Categories: Civil Procedure , Conflict of Laws , Insurance , Transportation
 
Intervenors Lawyer(s) Intervenors Law Firm(s)
Charles Scarborough U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division
Mark Stern U.S. Department of Justice Civil Division

 
Amicus Lawyer(s) Amicus Law Firm(s)
Richard Schweitzer Richard P. Schweitzer PLLC

 
Appellant Lawyer(s) Appellant Law Firm(s)
John Vail Center for Constitutional Litigation PC

 
Appellee Lawyer(s) Appellee Law Firm(s)
Mark Perry Gibson Dunn & Crutcher LLP
David Borucke Holland & Knight LLP
Steven L. Brannock Holland & Knight LLP
Paul Jones Luks Santaniello Perez Petrillo & Gold LLC
James P. Waczewski Luks Santaniello Perez Petrillo & Gold LLC

 

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1801, 1808 (2008) (citations omitted). we do not suggest that vicarious liability against rental authority to regulate purely intrastate activities when they "substantially affect" or judgment, the district court issued a thorough and well-written opinion holding that suited end, even though they involved control of intrastate activities." united florida's vicarious liability regime is therefore part of a financial responsibility us to interpret the graves amendment, 49 u.s.c. § 30106, a federal tort reform co., 483 f.3d 1184, 1204 (11th cir. 2007) (citations omitted). in addition to congress may choose any "means reasonably adapted to the attainment of the perhaps not uniformly) employed as instrumentalities of interstate commerce. one such canon is noscitur a sociis, which is the commonsense principle that i. grows thinner. given the dubious implications of construing all automobiles as per economic activity has a substantial effect on interstate commerce, regulation of that a delaware corporation, car (or the like) at issue in a particular case has crossed state boundaries or is confusion after morrison and raich. id. at 1216 n.6) appellants urge that analysis vanguard owned the rental car driven by davis and leased it to him, and the gonzales, 545 u.s. at 25 (citing united states v. morrison, 529 u.s. 598, 610 liability suits. we conclude that the tort claims at issue are within the ________________________ a foreign limited partnership, 11 eleventh circuit ________________________ versus that the costs of strict vicarious liability against rental car companies are borne by that motor vehicle to an individual whose negligent operation causes damage to limiting language, (iii) whether congress made findings concerning the effect of regulate the channels of commerce nor their use. neither the rental car market, nor "unlimited" vicarious liability. see 151 cong. rec. h1034-01 at 1201 (statement combined property damage and bodily injury liability, the lessor shall owner of a motor vehicle for the privilege of registering and operating 14 amendment's preemption clause and not within its savings clause. we further on diversity. the vanguard companies sought a declaration that the graves plaintiff-cross-defendant-appellant, suggest as much. both provisions of the savings clause strongly imply that prudent course is for us to decide the graves amendment's constitutionality under regulated was economic in nature, (ii) whether the statute contained jurisdictionally motorist has been involved in an accident. see fla. stat. § 324.011; see also lynch-davidson insurance or its equivalent as a condition of licensing or registration, or may unless they are within the statute's savings clause. it provides that activities that are not actually in interstate commerce must derive from necessary and proper in a three-car accident in marion county, florida, for which he was allegedly at vicarious liability, constitutes a "financial responsibility" requirement. to the 16 car rental, state court actions were removed and consolidated with the declaratory judgment clause exempts from preemption laws "imposing financial responsibility or plaintiffs, financial responsibility or liability insurance requirements under state law." § person (or an affiliate of the owner) shall not be liable under the law responsibility law. as explained above, financial responsibility laws are legal if any costs are passed on to customers, rental cars ­ a product which substantially statute which purports to shield rental car companies from certain vicarious vicarious liability rental car companies could face under the dangerous amendment protects the rental car market by deregulating it, eliminating state- rather than a comprehensive regulatory regime. they rely chiefly on united states fault. the collision caused the deaths of jose garcia, appellant's decedent, and regulated activity and an effect on commerce is attenuated. morrison, 529 u.s. at alamo financing, l.p., commerce, even when not employed in interstate commerce, this is an easy case. activity, the latter being necessary and proper to effective regulation of the former. requirements. an insurance treatise relied upon by appellants suggests a similar 609-617 (citations omitted). the upshot of morrison and lopez is that congress imposed laws and lawsuits congress reasonably believed to be a burden on an to be a burden on an interstate market. that is the protection of lawful commerce clause), and raich, 545 u.s. at 34 (scalia, j., concurring in the judgment) (power to regulate the graves amendment seeks to eliminate. this argument, too, fails to convince decision that preemption is an appropriate means to achieve proper ends. rather, rule. we will not choose such an interpretation when another one is feasible. minimis effect on the market and therefore to be outside the commerce power. id. of rep. boucher); id. at 1202 (statement of rep. graves). yet read in context, the approach to the third prong of commerce jurisprudence, embodied most gabriela garcia and luis garcia, and the estates and surviving spouses of garcia and ruiz. jurisdiction was based scope). further, because such power would derive from the commerce clause per regulate interstate markets, but the ability to facilitate interstate commerce by term of art, it presumptively adopts the meaning and "cluster of ideas" that the 30106(b)(2). this pairing of terms strongly suggests that "financial responsibility" amendment has two operative provisions, a preemption clause and a savings 49 u.s.c. § 30106(b). appellants contend their suits are within the savings clause activity must be sustained. raich, 545 u.s. at 25. there is no question that the contrast, if rental cars are not per se instrumentalities of commerce, and the statute the term "financial responsibility law" to denote state laws which impose maria d. garcia, the commerce power ­ that is, the combination of the commerce clause per the grant of summary judgment in favor of the rental car companies. gregory davis, et al., the acts of lessees as a burden on that market. the reason it could have done so is6 to refer to statutes which suspend a motorist's license or vehicle registration if they car market at all, but state tort law. this is a distinction without a difference, as the 49 u.s.c. § 30106(a). the instant wrongful death claims are clearly within the terms, but legislative history cannot be used to contradict unambiguous statutory anticipating a suit alleging vicarious liability for davis' negligence, instrumentalities of commerce refer only to "the ingredients of interstate commerce pertinent canon is the presumption against surplusage: we strive to give effect to these principles indicate that the graves amendment is valid. it is plain affiliate of the owner). entrustment or other wrongdoing of its own. thus, assuming for now that the interstate commerce is the full extent of the instrumentalities category. but there is for the negligent acts of its lessee ­ while imposing a damages cap on them. it also and national scope of the industry, and because rental cars are frequently (though by designation. per person and up to $300,000 per incident for bodily injury and up to only have a rational basis for concluding that the intrastate activity would to federal regulation. but we are aware of only one other statute with the sole means of interstate transportation and communication. but it appears more likely arguably suggests, without explicitly stating, that persons and things moving in applied to preempt their suits because it is outside congress's commerce powers. 21 under the morrison/lopez factors is appropriate because the graves amendment, dramatically by raich and wickard, is commonly described as "aggregation": for the middle district of florida not every inducement to lease only to the insured thereby becomes a financial of sen. santorum) (similar). we would reach the same result in the absence of such statements. against surplusage. if we construe the graves amendment's savings clause as in arms act, 15 u.s.c. §§ 7901-7903, which preempts certain tort suits against vanguard rental (belgium), inc., culpable in renting a car to davis, because of the so-called dangerous and ruiz then filed separate wrongful death actions in florida state court. the plenary federal regulation). concluding that federal carjacking statute is constitutional notwithstanding lopez). appeal from the united states district court the imposition of vicarious liability on rental car firms, are in any respect a ii. f.3d 1306, 1311 (11th cir. 2004) (commerce clause power is plenary within its car companies is a form of in-state protectionism; we merely note that state laws, no less than se instrumentalities of commerce, we will pass over that question; the more registration upon notice of an unsatisfied judgment). therefore, appellants argue, defendants-cross-plaintiffs-appellees, commerce. this category includes at a minimum "persons and things themselves clause). alamo rent-a-car (canada) inc., also bishop, 66 f.3d at 597-600 (becker, j., dissenting) (automobiles can be used them to have their common and ordinary meaning, unless it is apparent from zones act, respectively, because of the purported aggregate effects of gender- a delaware corporation, f.k.a. national involving guns in interstate commerce. id. at 394. but we do not think that laughlin steel corp., 301 u.s. 1, 31-32 (1937). on this theory, the graves pronounce particular intrastate instances of the regulated conduct to have a de component of the regulation." (we also noted the possibility for analytic vanguard car rental usa, inc., action, and the district court dismissed several corporate parties it found were for example, the entire premise of dormant commerce clause jurisprudence is that5 pagers, telephones, and the internet are per se instrumentalities of commerce, regardless of long been understood that the commerce power includes not only the ability to 598 (2000) and united states v. lopez, 514 u.s. 549 (1995), the supreme court instrumentalities, i.e. "in commerce," then we must analyze the statute as negligence of their lessees is a financial responsibility law. to evaluate this intrastate activities to survive review under aggregation analysis, congress need statements expressing concern with unlimited vicarious liability do not manifest difference between lopez and raich was "the comprehensiveness of the economic refused to validate the violence against women act and the gun-free school apparent that congress rationally could have perceived strict vicarious liability for 12 representative of the estate of nelson ruiz, and compare bishop and pipkins, supra, with heart of atlanta motel inc. v. united states,4 3 relatively novel, but only because statutes like the graves amendment are novel. 4 unlike the graves amendment, the plcaa limits its preemptive effect to suits internal revenue service, 506 f.3d 1364, 1368-69 (11th cir. 2007) (citations someone, most likely the customers, owners, and creditors of rental car companies. the appellees, referred to as vanguard hereafter, own interests in the rental car at issue.1 arising out of the use of the motor vehicle. interstate commerce. see, e.g, dept. of revenue of kentucky v. davis, __u.s. __, 128 s.ct. words, the effect of the statute is to deregulate the rental car market. and it has per se instrumentalities of commerce, as appellees and the united states' amicus commerce, the "interstate transportation routes through which persons and goods necessary and proper clause. the distinction is not academic; although we4 regulation of roads as such. nor is the graves amendment an effort to protect appellants wish, it would render the preemption clause a nullity. every vicarious (2000)). one implication of this principle is that where congress comprehensively insurance, §§ 109:34, 109:45-46. appellants seize on this definition and urge that second, congress may regulate the so-called "instrumentalities" of statements in the graves amendment's legislative history suggest that its proponents6 summary judgment for the rental car companies in all three cases. this appeal see, e.g., united states v. pipkins, 378 f.3d 1281, 1295 (11th cir. 2004) (suggesting3 because florida's imposition of vicarious liability on rental car companies for the ultimately would reach the same result under lopez prongs two or three, the black's law dictionary defines financial responsibility only to include "proof of ability to respond in damages on account of crashes arising out the use of over many aspects of automobile use. see, e.g., united states v. hornaday, 392 on behalf of and as legal guardian of the minor (citations omitted). "when economic activity substantially affects interstate judges. iii. 18 refers to insurance-like requirements. in morrison and lopez. raich makes clear that when a statute regulates economic defendants. protect is within the commerce power, we will not second guess congress's the final and most hotly contested facet of the commerce power is the always appropriate. in the seminal cases of united states v. morrison, 529 u.s. his trip intending for it to be an interstate journey. on the trip, davis was involved 9 379 u.s. 241, 271 (1964) (black, j., concurring) (power to regulate intrastate use of conclude the statute is within congress's article i powers. accordingly, we affirm also some authority for the proposition that methods of interstate transportation and at 17-19 (citing, inter alia, wickard v. filburn, 317 u.s. 111 (1942)). this subdivision thereof ­ when the aggregate effects of an economic activity substantially affect interstate at 1205 (citations omitted). moreover, when we consult legislative history, we do them to carry, in lieu of liability insurance per se, its financial equivalent, such as a this argument is unpersuasive because it runs afoul of the presumption (quoting jarecki v. g.d. searle & co., 367 u.s. 303, 307 (1961)). another within the boundaries of congressional power in so doing. accordingly, the may not "regulate noneconomic, violent criminal conduct based solely on that like the statute at issue in those cases, is a "brief, single-subject statute," with no bond or self-insurance. first, statutory context and the noscitur a sociis canon2 possession of the vehicle during the period of the rental or lease, if (1) strict vicarious liability upon the owner of a motor vehicle who voluntarily entrusts gun manufacturers. despite the novelty of laws like the graves amendment and construction which embody sound generalizations about congressional intent. fraudulently joined to defeat diversity jurisdiction. on cross-motions for summary any approval, explicit or implicit, of limited vicarious liability. more importantly, for consumers. we do not know with any certainty the incidence or effect of these cars are always instrumentalities of commerce, as suggested by bishop, congress the regulated activity on commerce, and (iv) whether the connection between the see raich, 545 u.s. at 19. or property that results or arises out of the use, operation, or commerce, legislation regulating that activity will be sustained." raich v. court focused on four "significant considerations": (i) whether the activity negligence or criminal wrongdoing on the part of the owner (or an plcaa, there is no reason in principle why state laws or lawsuits cannot for the eleventh circuit statutory element requiring proof that particular instances of vicarious liability the third commerce clause prong. accident occurred during the lease period. plaintiffs seek to recover solely under a of any state or political subdivision thereof by reason of being the themselves constitute a burden on interstate commerce. indeed, the plcaa5 commerce power to preempt the burdensome suits. city of new york v. beretta liability. or commercial activity, lopez and morrison are inapposite. instead, when an such duties may arise as a condition of licensing or registration, or, as in florida, after a2 (1999) and united states v. hutchinson, 75 f.3d 626 (11th cir. 1996) (both summarily because it induces car rental companies to ensure that their lessees are adequately states v. darby, 312 u.s. 100, 121 (1941). for regulation (or deregulation) of these consolidated declaratory judgment and wrongful death actions require clerk we see no textual support in the graves amendment itself for such a distinction. is to refer to state laws which require either liability insurance or a functionally otherwise engaged in interstate commerce. if cars are per se instrumentalities of3 effectuate them, preempting vicarious liability suits. furnishing proof of liability insurance, posting a bond, furnishing a certificate financial responsibility is closely linked to insurance requirements: the savings vicarious liability is part of the financial responsibility laws. would have plenary power not only over the commercial rental car market, but august 19, 2008 to commercial motor vehicle lessors such as vanguard. we must first determine whether the graves amendment, by its terms, claims cannot proceed. the district court's judgment is commercial leasing of cars is, in the aggregate, an economic activity with authority prohibiting preemption of burdensome state laws as a means of doing so. commerce, congress may regulate both interstate and intrastate instances of that 6 contrary, the import of the graves amendment is clear. states may require the acts of congress." gustafson v. alloyd co. inc., 513 u.s. 561, 575 (1995) amount of vicarious liability damages, would be preserved, while uncapped 23 law. 5 as surviving spouse, as administrator and affirmed. 22 economic activity with substantial effects on commerce. such a theory is before edmondson, chief judge, kravitch and alarcÓn, circuit* annually and drives small firms out of business); see also 151 cong. rec. s5433-03 (statement superfluous because regimes like fla. stat. § 324.021(9)(b)(1)-(2), which cap the the lessor, under an agreement to rent or lease a motor vehicle for a removing intrastate burdens and obstructions to it. see, e.g., nlrb v. jones & filed not impose such judgments against rental car companies based on the negligence of vanguard filed a declaratory judgment action in the district court against lopez owner of the vehicle" negligently driven by davis, not because of any negligent distinction matters. congress may foster and protect the entire market for rental the ubiquitous association of "financial responsibility" with insurance nothing in this section supersedes the law of any state or political insured, thereby serving the purpose of the financial responsibility laws, ensuring considering the permissibility of those statutes under the commerce power, the in sum, the graves amendment preempts the tort claims on appeal, and is santos ruiz, every word and provision in a statute when possible. lowery v. alabama power have a rational basis for concluding that the regulated activities, in the aggregate, oliver, 60 f.3d 547, 550 (9th cir. 1995) (same). see also united states v. williams, 51 f.3d insurance standards," § 30106(b)(1), or laws penalizing the "failure to meet the term has accumulated over time. medical transport mgmt. corp v. comm'r, under the aggregation doctrine of raich, rather than the considerations elaborated national rental (us), inc., 17 fail to satisfy a judgment resulting from an accident. 15 russ & segalla, couch on in the united states court of appeals the owner of a motor vehicle "may prove his or her financial responsibility" by so with due regard for its well-known limitations and dangers. see exxon mobil for the purpose of determining liability for the operation of the vehicle instrumentality doctrine. through that doctrine, florida common law "imposes have perceived a connection between permissible ends, namely increasing (statement of rep. graves) (stating that vicarious liability costs consumers $100 million affects commerce and which is frequently an instrumentality of commerce ­ protect instrumentalities of commerce from intrastate threats and burdens. in reduces the rental company's liability exposure if a lessee is insured for $500,000 usa corp., 524 f.3d 384 (2nd cir. 2008). the two cases are not identical because 7 owner of the vehicle (or an affiliate of the owner) for harm to persons financial responsibility or liability insurance requirements under state effect and purpose of preempting state-law claims because congress believed them fla. stat. § 324.031. these other financial arrangements, like insurance, provide liability the amendment seeks to eliminate. the exception would swallow the personal representative of the estate of requirements, not mere financial inducements imposed by law. moreover, the judgment) (citing gibbons v. ogden, 22 u.s. (9 wheat.) 1, 189-90 (1824)); see u.s. court of appeals israel lopez was also severely injured, but fortunately was not killed. grounds, 544 u.s. 902 (2005), opinion reinstated on remand 412 f.3d 1251 (11th cir. 2005). categories of activities. the first is the use of the "channels" of interstate the pertinent facts are undisputed. the appellee rental car companies1 undermine the lawful commerce clause goals of a federal statute if left untouched. that such authority derives not from their status as instrumentalities, but from the se and the necessary and proper clause ­ encompasses authority to regulate three recently survived a commerce clause challenge for essentially the reasons appellants argue that the test elaborated in morrison and lopez, rather than united states of america, appellants protest that the graves amendment does not regulate the rental instrumentalities because such uses burden commerce derives from necessary and proper nelson xavier ruiz, et al., text or to read an ambiguity into a statute which is otherwise clear on its face. id. moving in interstate commerce." ballinger, 395 f.3d at 1226. and ballinger scheme: it gives rise to judgments against lessors, which they must pay on pain of scope of this provision. vanguard and its affiliates are in the rental car business. appellants protest that their reading would not render the preemption clause an owner of a motor vehicle that rents or leases the vehicle to a drivers, under the banner of protecting the instrumentalities of commerce. we brief would have us do, our analysis ends with the recognition that congress may statutory terms in light of one another, courts avoid giving "unintended breadth to that the rental car market has a substantial effect on interstate commerce. it is also negligence and that of their lessees, not between limited and unlimited vicarious 15 (en banc) (citations omitted). it is clear that the amendment does not directly clause. the preemption clause provides as follows: jose garcia, and on behalf of her minor children costs, and we do not have to know. it is enough that congress rationally could if significant costs from vicarious liability are passed on to the owners of rental car 2 ________________________ the graves amendment takes aim at precisely these types of lawsuits. the commerce. so long as the underlying economic activity the federal statute aims to deferential than under aggregation analysis. under the latter, congress need only we may consult legislative history to elucidate a statute's ambiguous or vague leased a car to gregory davis on february 2, 2005. they were not negligent or cars because, in the aggregate, that market substantially affects interstate (1) imposing financial responsibility or insurance standards on the omitted). in construing an ambiguous statute, we also employ canons of under the "significant considerations" of lopez and morrison is significantly less honorable arthur l. alarcón, united states circuit judge for the ninth circuit, sitting* context that the disputed term is a term of art. konikov v. orange cty, fla., 410 statute is constitutional, these wrongful death suits are preempted by § 30106(a) private practices, may burden interstate commerce. amendment preempted any claims against them for wrongful death or bodily $50,000 for property damage. if the lessee or operator of the vehicle the graves amendment does not define the term "financial responsibility." corp v. allapattah svcs., inc., 545 u.s. 546, 568-70 (2005) (discussing potential state laws favoring in-state economic interests over those of out-of-state competitors can burden the graves amendment validly preempted all the tort claims, and thus, it granted meaning when grouped together. see, e.g, s.d. warren co. v. maine bd. of env. a motor vehicle," which is florida law's definition of "proof of financial itself." gonzalez v. raich, 545 u.s. 1, 34 (2005) (scalia, j., concurring in the vicarious liability theory: vanguard is allegedly liable "by reason of being the commerce. moreover, there is sensible authority that channels and ensued. as instrumentalities of commerce, but are not per se instrumentalities subject to reasons for the outcome would differ markedly. should we recognize rental cars as accountability." see black's law dictionary at 663 (8th ed. 2004). again, we see intervenor, these suits were brought against vanguard, which concededly was not in sum, neither the common law imposition of vicarious liability on rental and burdens, united states v. lopez, 514 u.s. 549, 558 (1995), and there is no reducing the companies' liability exposure if their lessees meet the statutory perceived threat to that industry posed by state lawsuits, justified use of the a florida corporation, et. al., their lessees. 49 u.s.c. § 30106(a). that in raich, should be applied when, as here, we analyze a single subject statute or more. [publish] compensation for accident victims. the florida statute achieves this purpose by state tort law preempted by the statute regulates the rental car market; in other any state law with which it actually conflicts. see, e.g., foley v. luster, 249 f.3d substantially affect interstate commerce. raich, 545 u.s. at 22 (citations omitted). next determine its constitutionality. appellants contend the statute cannot be 13 8 injury caused by their lessee davis. the estates and surviving spouses of garcia individually, and as administrator and personal be liable for up to an additional $500,000 in economic damages only business of renting or leasing motor vehicles, and (2) there is no a florida corporation, et. al., penalize, a car owner who fails to meet the requirement, or who fails to pay a out of the marketplace, or inhibits their entry into it, potentially reducing options insurance-like requirements on owners or operators of motor vehicles, but permit motivated violence and school violence on interstate commerce. rather, in us that imposition of vicarious liability is within the amendment's savings clause. but the implications of this argument give us reason to doubt its premise. if because the graves amendment purports to preempt this lawsuit, we must regulating an activity "affecting commerce," and as we shall see, the precedent lawsuits at issue here ­ those imposing strict liability against a rental car company firms able to compete in the rental car market. see 151 cong. rec. h1034-01 at *h1200 (august 19, 2008) whether any interstate communications or routing occur), vacated and remanded on other conduct's aggregate effect on interstate commerce." id. at 617. in practice, review have a "substantial relation to" interstate commerce. ballinger, 395 f.3d at 1226 firms, it is possible that such liability contributes to driving less-competitive firms id. at 1226. d. c. docket no. 06-00220-cv-oc-10-grj (2) imposing liability on business entities engaged in the trade or regulation of such quintessentially state law matters as traffic rules and licensing damages would be preempted. in support, they cite statements from the another." aurbach v. gallina, 753 so. 2d 60, 62 (fla. 2000) (citing southern cancelled registration. see fla. stat § 324.121 (suspension of license or 30106(b)(1). they may suspend the license and registration of, or otherwise indeed perceived vicarious liability as a burden on consumers, and as reducing the number of judgment resulting from a collision. 49 u.s.c. § 30106(b)(2). they simply may otherwise at fault in so doing. davis rented the car in orlando, florida and drove it regulates the national market for a particular good or activity, courts may not despite its brevity, we believe the graves amendment is properly analyzed minimum requirements for liability insurance or other financial responsibility. but move." see, e.g, united states v. ballinger, 395 f.3d 1218, 1225 (11th cir. 2005) inducement appellants rely upon is again premised upon the very vicarious liability congress may protect instrumentalities of commerce from purely intrastate threats thomas k. kahn intrastate carjackings because cars are per se instrumentalities of commerce); united states v. fla. stat. § 324.021(9)(b)(2). thus, the statute explicitly countenances the type of congress has very broad power to regulate wholly intrastate uses of the requirements that motorists have proof of "insurance or other financial _________________________ per se instrumentalities of commerce even when they are not used in interstate the distinction congress drew is between liability based on the companies' own impose such a requirement after an accident or unpaid judgment. 49 u.s.c. § instrumentality doctrine. as pertinent here, the statute provides that "have any connection to past interstate activity or a predictable impact on future is uninsured or has any insurance with limits less than $500,000 yet the supreme court has made clear that aggregation analysis is not motors v. griffin, 182 so.2d 7, 8 (fla. 1966). commercial activity." see raich, 545 u.s. at 23. second, the most common legal usage of the term "financial responsibility" kravitch, circuit judge: or the acts of the operator in connection therewith only up to $100,000 substantial effects on interstate commerce. this is true both because of the size have our doubts about an interpretation which produces these results, which makes v. maxwell, 446 f.3d 1210, 1214 (11th cir. 2006), where we stated that the salient meaning to black's, but also notes that "financial responsibility" laws may be used roads from harm, nor to prevent them from being used for harmful purposes. see communication are per se instrumentalities of commerce, regardless of whether the regime as a financial responsibility law to serve statutory and public policy goals. 1281, 1286 (11th cir. 2001). f.3d 1317, 1329 (11th cir. 2005) (citation omitted). when congress employs a 19 1004 (11th cir. 1995), abrogated in part on other grounds, jones v. united states, 526 u.s. 227 20 become more expensive, and interstate commerce is thereby inhibited. moreover, period of less than 1 year, shall be deemed the owner of the vehicle preempts these wrongful death actions. of course, a valid federal statute preempts nelson ruiz, whose estate was a party in the district court but has not appealed. no. 07-12235 many federal statutes expressly or impliedly preempt state tort law as an incident accident victim, even though the judgment is premised on the very vicarious amendment's legislative history, where its sponsors express concern with see also united states v. bishop, 66 f.3d 569, 589-90 (3rd cir. 1995) (congress may criminalize protection, 547 u.s. 370, 378 (2006) (citations omitted). by construing proximate canons of construction, we may turn to legislative history as an interpretive aid. liability suit would be rescued because it could result in a judgment in favor of an argument, we must review the pertinent law of statutory interpretation. with these interpretive principles in mind, we conclude that congress used competition and lowering prices in the rental car market, and the means it chose to se, congress could exercise even broader power to make laws necessary and appellants also argue that we should construe florida's vicarious liability pitfalls in employing legislative history). statutory terms, ambiguous when considered alone, should be given related 10 defendants-appellees, cotton oil co. v. anderson, 86 so. 2d 629, 637 (fla. 1920)). the doctrine applies explained above: the interstate character of the firearms industry, coupled with the responsibility." see fla. stat. § 324.021(7). appellant provides no reason for us to when statutory terms are undefined, we typically infer that congress intended us suspect the premise that all methods of transportation and communication are car companies, nor the florida legislature's endorsement of and limitations on such believe florida law is exceptional in so defining financial responsibility. likewise, equivalent financial arrangement. florida law is representative in providing that showing a deposit of cash or securities, or furnishing a certificate of self-insurance. does not restrict its application to suits involving rental cars that are business of renting or leasing motor vehicles for failure to meet the in 1999, the florida legislature imposed statutory caps on the amount of the owner (or an affiliate of the owner) is engaged in the trade or proper to effectuate its plenary power over automobiles including, presumably, they urge that fla. stat. § 324.021(9)(b)(2) is a financial responsibility law a motor vehicle; or north towards georgia. the record does not establish whether davis embarked on


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