Stubbs v. Rochester

226 N.Y. 516, 124 N.E. 137 (1919)

 

RULE:

Directed verdict in favor of defendant in a civil case is improper where the most favorable inferences deducible from the plaintiff's evidence were such as would justify a submission of the facts to a jury as to the reasonable inferences to be drawn therefrom.

FACTS:

A man sought to recover damages he allegedly sustained for drinking contaminated water from the city's domestic service. The trial court entered a directed judgment in favor of the city and denied the resident's motion for new trial. On appeal, the resident argued that the trial court erred in granting a directed verdict in favor of the city because the resident produced sufficient evidence from which inference might reasonably have been drawn that the causes of the resident's illness was due to the use of contaminated water furnished by the city. The Appellate Division of the Supreme court in the Fourth Judicial Division (New York) affirmed the trial court's judgment. The case was appealed to the Court of Appeals of New York.

ISSUE:

Did the plaintiff produce evidence from which inference might reasonably be drawn that the cause of his illness was due to the use of contaminated water furnished by defendant?

ANSWER:

Yes

CONCLUSION:

The court examined the evidence presented at trial and determined that the evidence presented justified a submission of the facts to the jury. Accordingly, the court determined that the trial court erred in directing a verdict against the resident. The court reversed the judgment and granted the resident a new trial on his claim to recover damages for injuries sustained after drinking water from the city's domestic service.

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