Senate Passes Limit on Liability for Parents of Minor Drivers

On Wednesday, March 12, the Wisconsin Senate passed SB 592 (Sen. Grothman/Rep. Jim Ott) that would place a $300,000 limit on liability for parents of minor drivers. Wisconsin is currently one of roughly 12 states that imposes unlimited liability on parents of drivers ages 16 to 18.

Unexpectedly, Rep. Jim Ott, the Assembly Judiciary Chairperson and author of the bill, removed his support for the bill and had it removed from the Assembly calendar.

SB 592 imposes liability for parents up to $300,000, and the minor driver would still be on the hook for all damages. Moreover, most states do not impute any liability to parents. Even in California, where parents are liable for damages caused by their minor driver, the cap is $30,000 (the cap in SB 592 is 10 times higher than California’s cap).