Plaintiffs were church members who were severely injured in a car crash in a mission trip to Bangladesh in 2013. Defendants wished to apply Bangladeshi law, as the Rhode Island law provided for a longer statute of limitations, broader definition of "owner" of a vehicle, and comparative negligence standard.
The court, conducting a conflict of law analysis, found as follows: (1) the injury occurred in Bangladesh; (2) although the trip was planned in Rhode Island, the conduct leading to the accident occurred in Bangladesh; (3) parties are residents of Rhode Island, and; (4) the relationship of the parties is centered in Rhode Island. Because the central issue of the case is not whether the driver (who is Bangladeshi) was negligent but whether the church may be vicariously liable, the court found Rhode Island law applied.
Gotta catch'em all! A Rhode Island decision will always get a spot on this blog's Case of the Day, because it's not every day you come across a R.I. choice of law opinion. This opinion is also interesting because it cites relatively few cases, reflecting the state of R.I. case law.