February 10, 2014

Cohen v. Petty - 62 App.D.C. 187, 65 F.2d 820. (1933) - Court of Appeals of the District of Columbia

Facts: The defendant was driving the car.  There were three other people in the car including the plaintiff, her sister, and the defendant's wife.  The car crashed and the plaintiff received permanent injuries.

Procedural History: The trial judge gave the jury binding instructions.  The plaintiff appealed.

Issue: Can the driver of the car be charged with negligence if he had no reason to suspect that he would faint while driving the car?

Holding: No

Rationale: Negligence occurs when one knows or has reason to suspect that they have a condition which could impair their ability to operate a vehicle.   

Disposition: Affirmed the decision of the trial court.

Interesting Dicta: