Abdulkadhim v. WuAnnotate this Case
After Jasim Al-Kuraishi was killed in a car accident, Al-Kuraishi's wife filed a wrongful death action against defendant and others. Defendant, while driving on the highway, changed lanes and passed a stopped vehicle in order to avoid crashing into the stopped vehicle. Al-Kuraishi's vehicle, which was behind defendant's vehicle, then crashed into the stopped vehicle.
The Court of Appeal agreed with the trial court's conclusion that the sudden emergency doctrine provides defendant with a complete defense and affirmed. The court held that an emergency or peril under the sudden emergency or imminent peril doctrine is a set of facts presented to the person alleged to have been negligent. Furthermore, it is irrelevant for purposes of the sudden emergency doctrine whether defendant's lane change created a dangerous situation for Al-Kuraishi or anyone else; the only relevant emergency is the one defendant faced. In this case, plaintiff's entire challenge to the trial court's order was that defendant created the emergency that resulted in Al-Kuraishi's death. However, the court explained that plaintiff's argument is focused on the wrong set of circumstances for application of the sudden emergency doctrine.