Saturday, December 28, 2013

Montgomery Ward & Co. v. Duncan case brief

Montgomery Ward & Co. v. Duncan case brief summary
311 U.S. 243 (1940)

(D) corporation sought review of a judgment from the United States Court of Appeals (Eighth Circuit), which reversed the district court's judgment in favor of the corporation.
The case was remanded to the district court to enter judgment on the verdict in favor of plaintiff.
The corporation argued that the appeals court erred under Fed. R. Civ. P. 50(b).

(P) sued the corporation to recover damages for personal injuries.
His theory was that corporations should be liable for injuries to an employee that were attributable to the negligence of a coworker.
The answer had denied that the plaintiff was an employe of the corporation, and denied that he was injured in the manner which was described or was injured by the negligence of his co-employee and set up assumption of risk.
At the close of the evidence upon the trial, the corporation moved for a directed verdict.

The motion was denied and the jury returned a verdict for the (P) on which judgment was entered. The corporation moved to have the verdict set aside and entered in the corporation's favor, or as an alternative, that the verdict be set aside and a new trial granted.
This motion was granted by the district court.
The court of appeals ruled that the district court erred in holding that evidence was insufficient to go to the jury and the court reversed the ruling, ordering judgment on the verdict for (P).

The United States Supreme Court ruled that, the proper practice existing under Rule 50(b) was that the district court's grant of the motion for judgment did not impose an automatic denial of the alternative motion for a new trial.

The Court modified the judgment from the appeals court, ordering that the cause be remanded to the district court to hear and rule upon the corporation's motion for a new trial.

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