Citation: 65 F.2d 820 (D.C. Cir. 1933)

One-Sentence Takeaway: “[O]ne who is suddenly stricken by an illness, which he had no reason to anticipate, while driving an automobile, which renders it impossible for him to control the car, is not chargeable with negligence.”

Summary:  Plaintiff as a passenger in a car driven by Defendant at the time it struck an embankment on the side of the road.  Plaintiff sued defendant for negligence.

Evidence was presented at trial that the accident occurred after Defendant fainted and lost control of his vehicle. Defendant also presented uncontroverted evidence that prior to the accident, he had never experienced episodes of fainting and he had no reason to believe that he could experience fainting.

With the foregoing evidence, the trial court instructed the jury to rule in favor of Defendant on Plaintiff’s cause of action for negligence and the court of appeal affirmed.

The court reasoned that Defendant could not be negligent when he had no reason to anticipate the fainting incident which caused the accident.

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