Sunday, November 24, 2013

Pierce v. Cook & Co. case brief

Pierce v. Cook & Co. case brief summary
518 F.2d 720 (10th Cir. 1975)

Appellants, an employee's family members, sought review of a judgment of the United States District Court for the Western District of Oklahoma, which granted summary judgment in favor of appellee employer.

A driver was killed and his passengers injured after colliding with a tractor-trailer. The family members and passengers filed an action against the tractor-trailer driver's employer, and the employer removed the case to federal court on the basis of diversity. One passenger's case was dismissed and refiled in state court because diversity had been destroyed. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of the employer. The family and passengers appealed, and the court held that a prior decision controlled.


  • The state supreme court specifically overruled the prior decision. 
  • The district court's decision became final before the state court decision. 
  • The state court returned a verdict in favor of the passenger. 
  • The family members and other passengers filed a motion for relief from judgment under Fed. R. Civ. P. 60(b). 
  • The court held that the outcome determination principle had been violated.
The motion for relief from judgment was granted. The court vacated its earlier judgment in the case and remanded the case to federal court.

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