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Zittrain Torts Playlist Spring 2013

Roberts v. Ramsbottom

Headnote

Should a medical episode absolve actors of their duty of care? Defendant suffered from a stroke prior to entering his car. He struck plaintiffs’ car while still mentally impaired by the stroke. Throughout the course of events, defendant did not realize that he was unfit to drive, but did admit to “feelings of queerness” at the time. The defendant’s deliberate and voluntary efforts to control his care demonstrated some awareness of his surroundings and traffic conditions. Based on medical testimony, the court found that defendant never suffered a complete loss of consciousness, as in an epileptic fit.