The burden is upon the party challenging the validity of a report to show that the report is inadmissible because its sources of information or other circumstances indicated a lack of trustworthiness.
Plaintiffs, relatives of one injured survivor and five decedents in a car accident, sued defendant driver and driver's employer for negligence. After a jury trial, judgment was entered for defendants. Plaintiffs appealed, arguing error in admitting a police report and lack of citation given to defendant driver into evidence, denying plaintiffs' motion for directed verdict, and instructing the jury on plaintiffs' burden of proof.
Following a jury trial, did the district court err in its decision to enter judgment in favor of the defendants?
The Court upheld the district court’s entry of judgment in favor of the defendants. According to the Court, the police report, while not admissible as a recorded recollection under Fed. R. Evid. 803(5) as determined by the trial court, was a public record admissible under Fed. R. Evid. 803(8). Moreover, the Court held that admission of no citation was a harmless error, because that fact was made apparent through testimony of officer. The denial of plaintiffs' motion for directed verdict was supported by evidence, and no error was made in the trial court's jury instructions.