F: Jury verdict for P and D appealed.
P’s contention: Insanity is not a defense in negligence actions. D’s contention: Without forewarning or knowledge the D did not understand or appreciate the duty to drive the care with ordinary care.
P’s truck was struck by D’s car.
D was driving her car in the wrong direction on the highway.
D, while returning home, saw a white light on the back of the car ahead of her.
She followed the light for some blocks, remembering only waking in a field.
Psychiatrist testimony revealed she believed God was steering the car.
D saw the P truck coming and stepped on the gas in order to become air-borne b/c she knew she could fly like Batman does.
I: Whether, without warning or knowledge of disability, D is liable for negligence when D is insane
R: Insanity is not a defense to neg. conduct where D had prior warning and knowledge of his insanity
A: Sudden mental incapacity equivalent in its effect to such physical causes as a sudden heart attack, epileptic seizure, stroke,
or fainting should be treated alike and not under a general rule of insanity.
It is unjust to hold a man responsible for his conduct which he is incapable of avoiding and which incapability was unknown to him prior to the accident.
Co:insane people are normally under the guidance of another. They are differently treated from the blind person. (compare with blind person case)