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Niederman v. Brodsky

Supreme Court of Pennsylvania
261 A.2d 84 (1970)


Facts

Harry Niederman (plaintiff) was walking with his son on the sidewalk of a Philadelphia street. Brodsky (defendant) was driving recklessly down the road when he skidded onto the sidewalk and then struck a fire hydrant, a garbage can, a newsstand, and finally Niederman’s son, who stood beside Niederman. Brodsky appeared to be on course to also strike Niederman, but did not. Niederman was so shocked and frightened that he immediately began to have severe chest pains. Niederman was hospitalized for five weeks for various heart ailments he had suffered, including a possible heart attack. Niederman sued Brodsky for negligence, seeking to recover damages for his heart disabilities, shock, and mental pain. The trial court dismissed Niederman’s suit for failure to state a claim upon which relief could be granted, because there was no physical impact between Brodsky’s vehicle and Niederman. Niederman appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Roberts, J.)

Dissent (Bell, C.J.)

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