Brief Fact Summary. Bierczynski and Race were involved in an automobile race. Race crashed his car into a vehicle driven by Cecil and Susan Rogers. Susan Rogers sued both Bierczynski and Race under a negligence theory. The jury found both liable. Bierczynski appealed based on the fact that he was not involved in the accident.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. When two or more individuals are wrongdoers acting in concert and their actions injure a third party, all may be liable for concurrent negligence, regardless of which of the individuals directly caused the injury.
Issue. Can a participant in a street race be found liable for negligence when his vehicle did not come into contact with the injured non-participant?
Held. Yes. Judgment affirmed.
* In many states, the violation of statutes prohibiting automobile racing is negligence per se. Although Delaware has no such statute, automobile racing constitutes a negligent act because a reasonably prudent person would not engage in such conduct. All parties engaged in automobile racing on the highway are “wrongdoers acting in concert.” Each participant is liable for injuries caused because he has induced and encouraged the tort. This Court holds that participation in a motor vehicle race on a public highway is an act of concurrent negligence, with each participant being liable for any injuries to non-participants.
Discussion. Because both Defendants are at fault and they have concert of action, Bierczynski is negligent even though his car did not come into contact with the Plaintiffs.