Brief Fact Summary. Tatiana Tarasoff’s parents (Plaintiffs) asserted that the four psychiatrists at Cowell Memorial Hospital of the University of California had a duty to warn them or their daughter of threats made by their patient, Prosenjit Poddar. The Superior Court of Alameda County (California) dismissed Plaintiffs’ action (sustaining a demurrer to Defendant’s second amended complaint) for failure to state a valid claim against the therapists, police, and the Regents of University of California (Defendants). Plaintiffs sought review.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. A defendant owes a duty of care to all persons who are foreseeably endangered by his conduct, with respect to all risks that make the conduct unreasonably dangerous. When the avoidance of foreseeable harm requires a defendant to control the conduct of another person, or to warn of such conduct, liability is imposed only if the defendant bears some special relationship to the dangerous person or to the potential victim.