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Maloney v. Rath

Supreme Court of California
445 P.2d 513 (1968)


Kathleen Maloney (plaintiff) was stopped at a stoplight in her car. Ramona Rath (defendant) turned her car into the lane behind Maloney and tried to apply her brakes, but the brakes failed, and Rath's car collided with Maloney's car. Rath had her brakes overhauled by a mechanic approximately three months before this accident. The same mechanic also inspected Rath's car after it was involved in another collision approximately two weeks prior to the accident with Maloney and made no repairs to the brakes at that time. Rath did not know or have reason to know prior to the collision with Maloney that her brakes were defective. Maloney brought an action against Rath to recover for injuries sustained in the collision. At trial, Rath's expert witness testified that Rath's brakes failed due to faulty installation of a hose by the mechanic during the brake overhaul. After a verdict for Rath, Maloney moved for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict on the issue of liability. The trial court denied the motion and entered judgment in Rath's favor. Maloney appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Traynor, C.J.)

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