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Garratt v. Dailey

Supreme Court of Washington
279 P.2d 1091 (1955)

Garratt v. Dailey


On July 16, 1951, Brian Dailey (defendant), a five-year-old boy, was visiting at the home of Ruth Garratt (plaintiff). Garratt started to sit down in a lawn chair when Dailey moved it. Garratt fell, sustaining serious injuries, including a broken hip. Garratt sued Dailey for battery. At trial, Garratt’s sister testified that Dailey deliberated pulled the chair out from under Garratt. The trial court did not accept this version of events, however, and instead accepted the testimony of Dailey. Dailey claimed that he moved the chair to sit down in it, and despite his efforts, he was unable to replace the chair in time to stop Garratt’s fall. The trial court thus concluded that Dailey did not possess any “any willful [sic] or unlawful purpose” or intent to harm Garratt when he moved the chair. The judge dismissed the action against Dailey. The court then determined that Garratt had suffered some $11,000 in damages, in case the decision were to be overruled on appeal. Garratt appealed to the Supreme Court of Washington, requesting entry of judgment in her favor or a new trial.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Hill, J.)

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