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McDonough Power Equipment, Inc. v. Greenwood

United States Supreme Court
464 U.S. 548 (1984)


Facts

Billy Greenwood and his parents (plaintiffs) brought suit against McDonough Power Equipment, Inc. (defendant) to recover damages for injuries sustained by Billy when his feet came into contact with the blades of a lawnmower manufactured by McDonough. During voir dire, Greenwood’s counsel asked the prospective jurors whether anyone themselves, or someone in their immediate family, had sustained injuries resulting in any disability or prolonged pain and suffering. Ronald Payton, who eventually became a juror, did not respond to this question. After a three-week trial, the jury found for McDonough. Greenwood filed a motion for new trial after Greenwood discovered that Payton’s son was injured in a tire accident, a fact that had not been revealed during voir dire and, as Greenwood argued, prejudiced their right to peremptory challenge. The district court denied Greenwood’s motion, finding that the matter was fairly and thoroughly tried, and that the verdict was well-supported by the evidence. The Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit reversed and ordered a new trial in favor of Greenwood’s motion. McDonough appealed.

Rule of Law

Issue

Holding and Reasoning (Rehnquist, J.)

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