Katie Holmes, Suri OK After Car Crash With Garbage Truck - Celebrity Justice
Celebrity Justice - The FindLaw Celebrities and The Law Blog

Katie Holmes, Suri OK After Car Crash With Garbage Truck

Katie Holmes' car crash with a garbage truck left the divorcing actress and daughter Suri a bit shaken but unhurt. The parties involved are now likely trying to figure out who will pay for damages.

Holmes, 33, and Suri, 6, had hopped into a black Mercedes Benz sedan about 9:30 p.m. Monday, after the girl's gymnastics class in Manhattan, the New York Daily News reports. A driver, not Holmes, was behind the wheel.

A few blocks later, a garbage truck somehow crashed into the back of the Mercedes, leaving a dent in the car. So who's going to pay?

News reports do not clearly indicate which driver was at fault in the Katie Holmes car crash, which was "nothing major other than the fact that it was Katie Holmes," a police source told the Daily News.

If Holmes owned the car, the matter will likely be handled by her insurance carrier. But it's possible the car may have belonged to a third party, like a limo service.

As for the garbage truck, a potential legal issue arises as to liability.

Photos taken at the crash scene (and posted at TMZ.com) show the truck apparently belonged to Classic Recycling of Clifton, N.J., which itself could be held liable for the truck driver's crash. Under a legal theory called respondeat superior, an employer can be held liable for an employee's actions if the employee acted within the scope of her job.

That theory could also come into play if Classic Recycling was working on behalf of another entity -- perhaps it had been hired by the city, or by a construction company to haul debris. But if Classic Recycling is considered an independent contractor, any entity that hired it may be able to avoid liability, depending on the parties' agreement.

Finally, if Katie Holmes' driver was partly at fault in the car crash, any damage award may be reduced. An investigation is underway.

Related Resources: