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Garrett v. Sewell

18 So. 737 (1895)

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Garrett v. Sewell

Alabama Supreme Court

18 So. 737 (1895)

Facts

Garrett, a landowner, (plaintiff) sued her neighbor Sewell (defendant) for trespass. Garrett alleged that Sewell removed a portion of a fence that was on the boundary between Garrett’s and Sewell’s land and sometime thereafter, livestock invaded Garrett’s land through the fence opening and destroyed a substantial portion of Garrett’s crops. Sewell denied the allegations and alleged that Garrett was contributorily negligent. At trial, Garrett was not permitted to introduce evidence of the damage to her crops, because the trial court assumed those damages were too remote from the trespass of removing the fence. It was assumed that Garrett discovered the break in the fence before the livestock invaded but that she did nothing to replace the fencing before the livestock invaded. The jury returned a verdict for Garrett and awarded her nominal damages and costs. Garrett appealed the amount of damages and the exclusion of his crop-damage evidence.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (McClellan, J.)

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