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Lobermeier v. General Telephone Company of Wisconsin

Wisconsin Supreme Court
119 Wis. 2d 129 (1984)


Facts

Bruce Lobermeier (plaintiff) sustained a ruptured eardrum due to a lightning-induced electrical charge while talking on the telephone. After initial medical treatment, surgery was recommended, but the surgery was not successful and several serious and threatening problems remained. Lobermeier sued General Telephone Company of Wisconsin (GTC) (defendant) for negligence, alleging that the telephone system was inadequately grounded. At trial, GTC sought to introduce evidence that a second surgery would improve Lobermeier’s condition and that Lobermeier would be damaged further if he continued to refuse the second surgery. The trial court refused to allow this evidence, holding that as a matter of law, Lobermeier was not under any obligation to undergo surgery order to mitigate his damages. GTC appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Heffernan, C.J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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