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Ramey v. Knorr

130 Wash. App. 1003 (2005)

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Ramey v. Knorr

Washington Appellate Division

130 Wash. App. 1003 (2005)

Facts

Ramey (plaintiff) was injured in a car accident when Knorr turned her car around on a highway, removed her seatbelt, and ran head-on into Ramey’s car. Knorr, who believed that she was the subject of a conspiracy to attack her when she hit Ramey’s car, was trying to commit suicide. Ramey sued Knorr for negligence, and Knorr raised the defense of sudden mental incapacity. Knorr’s defense was dismissed in a directed verdict for Ramey after the trial court found that, as a matter of law, the evidence did support Knorr’s sudden-incapacity defense because she had forewarning. Knorr had previously been treated for a mental condition, and she chose not to continue with medication. Knorr had also experienced delusions for several months before the accident, and the night before the accident, she believed that intruders were headed to her home to rape and kill her and her family. Thereafter, the jury returned a verdict for Ramey and awarded damages. The trial judge denied Knorr’s post-verdict motions, and Knorr appealed. Knorr argued that the trial court improperly denied her pre- and post-verdict motions for judgment as a matter of law.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Cox, C.J.)

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