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sudden emergency doctrine n: a doctrine of tort law: a person who is confronted with a sudden and unexpected perilous situation not of his or her own making and who acts as would a reasonably prudent person under the circumstances will not be held liable even if later reflection shows that the wisest course was not chosen
Source: Merriam-Webster's Dictionary of Law ©1996. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated. Published under license with Merriam-Webster, Incorporated.