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James v. Lieb

Nebraska Supreme Court
375 N.W.2d 109 (1985)


Facts

Two young children, Gregory and Demetria James, were riding their bicycles down a suburban street when a garbage truck owned by Watts Trucking Service, Inc. (Watts Trucking) (defendant), and driven by its employee John Lieb (defendant), backed into an intersection, through a stop sign, and hit and ran over Demetria, killing her. Gregory watched the horrific incident and suffered physically mental anguish and emotional distress as a result. The children’s parents, John and Edna James, filed suit against Watts Trucking and Lieb on behalf of Gregory alleging that defendants’ negligence caused their young son’s emotional distress. The defendants argued that the James’s complaint failed to allege that Gregory was within the “zone of danger” or that he was in fear for his own safety when the truck struck Demetria and therefore no cause of action existed for emotional distress. The trial court agreed and dismissed the complaint. The Jameses appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (White, J.)

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