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McInnis v. A.M.F., Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit
765 F.2d 240 (1985)


Facts

Florence Poirier’s vehicle collided with Patricia McInnis’s (plaintiff) motorcycle. Upon impact, McInnis's motorcycle fell onto her, the motor housing shattered, and the spinning motor severed her leg. McInnis sued A.M.F., Inc. (defendant), the motorcycle's manufacturer. McInnis admitted Poirier's negligence caused the accident, but McInnis argued A.M.F.'s negligent design of the motor housing caused her resulting amputation. At trial, A.M.F. proffered evidence that McInnis settled her claims against Poirier in return for $60,000, which impeached McInnis's testimony by showing that McInnis held Poirier, and not A.M.F., responsible for the amputation. The judge admitted the evidence as an exception to Federal Rule of Evidence 408, which excludes such evidence when it is introduced to show liability. McInnis appealed the jury's verdict for A.M.F. to the United States Court of Appeals for the First Circuit, arguing the evidence was inadmissible under Rule 408.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Pettine, 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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