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McAndrews v. Leonard

134 A. 710 (1926)

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McAndrews v. Leonard

Vermont Supreme Court

134 A. 710 (1926)

Facts

Mary McAndrews (plaintiff) sued Roy Leonard (defendant) to recover for injuries sustained in an accident. McAndrews’s injuries necessitated surgery to remove a portion of her skull. By trial, the resulting hole in McAndrews’s skull had been naturally filled in. McAndrews called an expert witness who testified that the fill material was soft tissue. Leonard called an expert witness who testified that the fill material was callus, which was hard, bone-like matter, thus affording the brain greater protection. McAndrews asked the trial judge to permit the jury to touch McAndrews’s head in the affected area to determine the fill spot’s relative hardness as compared to the surrounding skull. Leonard objected on the ground that the analysis of the filling was a factual matter necessitating expert testimony and that lay jurors were not equipped to make such a determination. The trial court overruled the objection. The jury ruled in McAndrews’s favor, and Leonard appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Watson, C.J.)

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