Friday, December 27, 2013

Jorgensen v. York Ice Machinery Corp. case brief

Jorgensen v. York Ice Machinery Corp. case brief summary
160 F.2d 432 (1947)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff sought review of a decision of the United States District Court for the District of New York that upheld a jury verdict that was returned in favor of defendant, refrigeration contractor, in a personal injury action.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff was a plumber who assisted defendant, refrigeration contractor, with the installation of an ice machine in a U.S. transport. The refrigerating plant included an engine room where the refrigerant was compressed. If the refrigerant was heated, it would break down into toxic gases. Plaintiff filed a personal injury action contending that defendant's supervisor allowed plaintiff to bring a blow torch into the engine room and plaintiff was injured by the gases. A jury returned a verdict for defendant. It was discovered that the jury compromised its vote so that one of the jurors could go home because of a death in the family. The trial court denied plaintiff a new trial.

DISCUSSION
  • The court affirmed the verdict holding that an agreement to abide by the majority vote was insufficient to invalidate the verdict. 
  • The testimony was in a conflict, which only the jury alone could settle.

CONCLUSION
The court affirmed the verdict for defendant, refrigeration contractor, and the denial of plaintiff's motion for new trial holding that the testimony was in a conflict, which only the jury alone could settle. An agreement to abide by the majority vote was insufficient to invalidate the verdict.

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