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family purpose doctrine

n. a rule of law that the registered owner of an automobile is responsible for damages to anyone injured when the auto is driven by a member of the family with or without the owner's permission. The theory of this liability is that the vehicle is owned for family purposes. This doctrine is the law in some states instead of making a registered owner liable for damages caused by anyone driving his/her car with permission.


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The People's Law Dictionary by Gerald and Kathleen Hill Publisher Fine Communications