Forseeability Case Out of Florida

Defendant Carter pumped gas into his vehicle and left the station without paying. The station owner gave chase, and during the pursuit the station owner’s vehicle rear-ended Carter’s vehicle, injuring the plaintiff’s daughter. The daughter later died from the pain medication she was administered for treatment of her injuries

Carter moved for summary judgment, “argu[ing that his actions were not the proximate cause of the accident because he was not speeding or braking abruptly at the time the accident occurred.” The trial judgment dismissed the case against him.

The Court of Appeals reversed a grant of summary judgment, saying “we cannot say that no reasonable person could differ in concluding that an accident on a public road of Bay County was unforeseeable as Carter was seeking to escape from the pursuit. … This lawsuit does not concern Carter’s actions only at the moment of the collision, however. We agree with the appellant that Carter’s actions can be seen as a continuum beginning with the theft of the gasoline and continuing by fleeing through traffic from the [store owner’s] vehicle.”

Read the entire opinion here.

Thanks to Matt at Abstract Appeal for informing me about this opinion.