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Green v. Bock Laundry Machine Co.

United States Supreme Court
490 U.S. 504 (1989)


Facts

Paul Green (plaintiff) was a county prisoner who worked at a car wash on a work-release program. Green’s arm was torn off when he reached into a large dryer in order to stop the dryer. Green sued Bock Laundry Company (Bock), the dryer’s manufacturer, for product liability. Bock impeached Green at trial with evidence of Green’s two felony convictions. The jury found in favor of Bock. Green appealed the denial of a pretrial motion to exclude the impeaching evidence, citing Federal Rule of Evidence 609(a), which only permits the use of prior felony convictions as impeachment evidence if the probative value outweighs the prejudicial effect of the evidence. The court of appeals affirmed. Green petitioned the United States Supreme Court for review.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Stevens, J.)

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Concurrence (Scalia, J.)

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Dissent (Blackmun, J.)

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