Thursday, December 5, 2013

Sylvania Electric Products v. Flanagan case brief

Sylvania Electric Products v. Flanagan case brief summary
352 F.2d 1005 (1965)


CASE SYNOPSIS
Defendant general contractor appealed a judgment from the United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts, which was entered in favor of plaintiff subcontractor in a breach of contract action, alleging that the district court violated the best evidence rule.

CASE FACTS
The subcontractor commenced a breach of contract action against the general contractor for his refusal to pay for services performed hauling debris from a construction site. The district court rendered a judgment in favor of the subcontractor for the full amount of his claim.

DISCUSSION

  • On appeal, the general contractor contended that the district court's admission of secondary evidence violated the best evidence rule. 
  • The court vacated the district court's judgment in favor of the subcontractor and remanded for a new trial. 
  • The court held that the best evidence of the subcontractor's performance was the truck hour records, tally sheets. 
  • Further, there was not sufficient proof that the original tally sheets in question were in fact unavailable or that a reasonable search had been made to find them.

CONCLUSION
The court vacated the district court's judgment in favor of the subcontractor on his breach of contract claim and remanded for a new trial.


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