Friday, December 20, 2013

Reed v. McCord case brief

Reed v. McCord case brief summary
54 N.E. 737 (N.Y. 1899)

Respondent administratrix filed a negligence action against appellant individual and sought damages for personal injuries to the decedent that occasioned his death. The court found in favor of the administratrix. The appellate division unanimously affirmed. The appellate division granted the individual's motion for leave to appeal to the court of appeals.

The individual presented only two questions on appeal relating to the merits of the controversy. The first was whether the evidence was sufficient to justify the submission to the jury of the question of the individual's negligence. The second arose upon an exception to the admission in evidence of a statement made by the individual at a coroner's inquest as to the cause of the accident that was the basis of the administratrix's action.


  • On appeal, the court affirmed, holding that the New York constitution prohibited the court of appeals from reviewing the question whether there was any, or sufficient, evidence to sustain a decision or undirected verdict where there was a unanimous affirmance by the appellate division. 
  • The court opined that it had no authority to examine the first question presented and that the unanimous decision of the court below must be treated as final. 
  • The court articulated that the statements of the individual of the circumstances and cause of the accident to the decedent made while he was a witness before the coroner were competent and properly received in the present action.

The judgment was affirmed.

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