Monday, November 11, 2013

Brown v. Shyne case brief

Brown v. Shyne case brief summary
151 N.E. 197 (N.Y. 1926)

Defendant chiropractor appealed from a judgment of the Appellate Division of the Supreme Court in the Fourth Judicial Department (New York), which affirmed a judgment awarding damages to plaintiff patient for injuries she sustained as a result of defendant's negligence.


Plaintiff employed defendant to provide her with chiropractic treatments. As a result, plaintiff became paralyzed after she had received nine treatments. Plaintiff brought suit claiming that the paralysis was caused by the treatment she received.

When plaintiff recovered judgment for the damages caused by said injury, defendant appealed based upon the trial court's charge to the jury. The trial court had instructed the jury that from defendant's violation of the Public Health Laws of New York, which prohibited the practice of medicine without a license, the jury might infer negligence which produced injury to the plaintiff.


  • The appellate court reversed plaintiff's judgment because it found that the trial court had erred when it charged the jury that from the violation of the statute the jury might infer negligence which produced injury to the plaintiff. 
  • Unless the plaintiff's injury was caused by carelessness or lack of skill, the defendant's failure to obtain a license was not connected with the injury.


Judgment in favor of plaintiff was reversed.

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