Cyberbullying: Holding Grownups Liable For Negligent Entrustment

Abstract

Cyberbullying is an increasingly prevalent problem with an increasingly limited ability to battle it.  Criminal liability and school discipline have largely failed to abate the problem.  Similarly, civil lawsuits brought under defamation and similar torts have run into various legal obstacles, such as the true statement affirmative defense.  They have also encountered practical difficulties, such as judgment-proof defendants and unwilling plaintiffs.  This Comment suggests litigators try bringing their claims under an existing, though forgotten, tort: negligent entrustment of chattel.  Lawsuits brought under this theory will sidestep many of the legal and practical problems that have so far prevented litigants from successfully seeking redress for their damages.