Cohen v. Petty
Defendant fainted while driving his car and subsequently crashed his car while plaintiff was a passenger therein. Passenger claimed that he was driving recklessly. Defendant had not eaten lunch but had no prior history of fainting.
Trial judge directed a verdict in favor of the defendant.
Is one liable for damages causes due to illness?
Bell's: Was defendant at fault when he suddenly became ill, fainted, and ran his car off the road?
If the illness was not foreseeable, the defendant is not liable. Plaintiff must show actionable negligence.
Defendant did not have a history of fainting, and could not have known that he would faint while driving.
Plaintiff did not show that illness was foreseeable. Judgment affirmed.
Bell's: Defendant was not at fault when he suddenly became ill, fainted, and ran his car off the road.
Unforeseeable illness is not actionable negligence.
Bell's: To be liable for an action, it has to be a volitional act.