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Hartridge v. State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Co.

Wisconsin Supreme Court
271 N.W.2d 598 (1978)


Facts

Harold Coakley (codefendant) negligently drove his car into one driven by Dr. T. L. Hartridge (plaintiff), injuring Hartridge and reducing the doctor’s earning capacity. This, in turn, reduced the portion of Hartridge’s earnings that he shared with his employer, the Jackson Clinic. The clinic assigned any claim it might have against Coakley to Hartridge. Hartridge sued Coakley and his insurer, State Farm Mutual Automobile Insurance Company (codefendant), arguing that it was reasonably foreseeable that Coakley’s negligence would reduce the revenue that the clinic derived from Hartridge’s practice. The trial court found that Hartridge failed to state a claim on which relief could be granted and dismissed the action. Hartridge appealed to the Wisconsin supreme court.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Beilfuss, C.J.)

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