Monday, November 11, 2013

Terwilliger v. Wands case brief

Terwilliger v. Wands case brief summary
17 N.Y. 54 (1858)

Plaintiff appealed a decision from the Supreme Court (New York) that granted defendant's motion for a non-suit in plaintiff's slander action.


Plaintiff and defendant were neighbors. Defendant allegedly spoke with several people regarding plaintiff's continuous visits to a married woman's home. Defendant told people that the married woman was bad and the only reason plaintiff visited her was for sexual intercourse. Plaintiff initiated a slander action against defendant.

At trial, plaintiff presented witnesses who testified regarding defendant's allegations and the mental stress the allegations caused plaintiff. The court granted defendant's motion for a non-suit finding that defendant never spoke to plaintiff regarding the allegations and there was no evidence of damages.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed the decision. 
  • The court held that plaintiff did not prove that his mental stress and difficulties arose directly and legitimately from defendant's allegations. 
  • There was no evidence that plaintiff's character had suffered from the allegations or that his reputation had been damages.


The court affirmed the decision granting defendant's motion for a non-suit.

Suggested Study Aids For Tort Law

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