The Tarasoff Decision

Tarasoff v. the Board of Regents at the University of California (California Supreme Court 551 P.2d 334, 1976) revolved around the activities of Prasenjit Podder, a male student studying engineering and naval architecture at the University of California, Berkeley. Podder was a bright student who had overcome severe poverty and hardships in his native India. Tanya Tarasoff was young woman who befriended him at school. Podder appears to have become obsessed with the student, taping their conversations, replaying them to assess whether Tarasoff was romantically interested in him, and following her. In time, Podder's thought process became increasingly disturbed. He began to believe that people were laughing at him. He made threatening statements toward Tarasoff to a friend of his. Although he followed the advice ...

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