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Loughan v. Firestone Tire & Rubber Co.

United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit
749 F.2d 1519 (11th Cir. 1985)


Facts

John Loughan (plaintiff) was a car mechanic. Loughan was injured when a rim-wheel assembly on which he was working came apart and hit him on the head. Loughan brought a products-liability suit against the manufacturer of the assembly, Firestone Tire and Rubber Company (Firestone) (defendant). Firestone sought to introduce evidence of Loughan’s drinking under Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 406. Firestone raised the issue outside the presence of the jury and presented, to the judge, evidence that Loughan’s drinking was habitual. Specifically, Loughan regularly carried a cooler of beer on the job and admitted to drinking while on the job. Loughan’s supervisor, who had supervised Loughan from 1971 to 1974, testified to the same. Additionally, Loughan’s supervisor from 1969 to 1971 testified that Loughan had been fired after complaints from customers that he was drinking on the job. The district court admitted evidence of Loughan’s drinking habit as evidence that Loughan had been drinking at the time of the accident. The jury ruled in favor of Firestone. Loughan appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Hatchett, J.)

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  • A "yes" or "no" answer to the question framed in the issue section;
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  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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