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Steinhauser v. Hertz Corporation
United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
421 F.2d 1169 (1970)
Cynthia Steinhauser (plaintiff) was involved in a car accident caused by Ponzini (defendant). Steinhauser was 14 years old at the time. Steinhauser and the other occupants of Steinhauser’s car did not incur any bodily injuries due to the impact of the accident. However, a few minutes after the accident, Steinhauser began acting peculiarly. She became agitated and generally upset and, soon after, became depressed and attempted suicide. These characteristics had not appeared before the accident. Steinhauser was diagnosed with schizophrenia, and her prognosis was not good. Steinhauser brought a negligence suit against Ponzini and Hertz Corporation (defendant), the owner of Ponzini’s car. At trial, expert witnesses testified that Steinhauser had a predisposition to schizophrenia and that the accident was a precipitating cause of the manifestation of the condition. The district court ruled in favor of the defendants. Steinhauser appealed.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Friendly, J.)
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