Sunday, December 22, 2013

Williams v. Alexander case brief

Williams v. Alexander case brief summary
129 N.E.2d 417 (N.Y. 1955)

CASE SYNOPSIS
Plaintiff appealed from a judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court of New York, in the Second Judicial Department, which affirmed a judgment in favor of defendant in plaintiff's personal injury action.

CASE FACTS
Plaintiff was injured after an automobile driven by defendant struck him. At trial, plaintiff introduced parts of the hospital's records that detailed his injury. However, defendant introduced a hospital record that indicated plaintiff stated another automobile, not driven by defendant, caused the accident that injured plaintiff. Trial court found in favor of defendant. Plaintiff argued that the evidence of his statement regarding what car caused his injury was inadmissible hearsay.

DISCUSSION

  • Construing the state's business record exception to the hearsay rule, the court held the record admitted only records prepared in the ordinary course of business. 
  • Thus, the court held that while records pertaining to plaintiff's injuries were admissible, records of plaintiff's statement regarding which car caused his injury were not within the normal "business" of a hospital's operation, and were inadmissible.

CONCLUSION
Judgment reversed, because records defendant offered were inadmissible hearsay.

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