Robb v. John C. Hickey, Inc.
Circuit Court of New Jersey, Morris County
20 A.2d 707 (N.J. Cir. Ct. 1941)
Clyde Robb (plaintiff) brought a negligence suit on behalf of his decedent against John C. Hickey, Inc. (Hickey) (defendant). Hickey argued that Robb’s decedent was contributorily negligent. The trial judge instructed the jury that if the decedent was contributorily negligent, the degrees of each party’s negligence did not matter. The jury’s verdict, which was read in the absence of the judge, stated: “The jury finds that there was negligence on the part of both parties involved—The evidence shown is that the defendant was more negligent than the plaintiff—We therefore recommend an award of $2,000.00 to the plaintiff . . . .” Robb sought to set aside the verdict because it was ambiguous, inconsistent, and contrary to the jury instructions. Hickey filed a motion to mould the verdict into a verdict in favor Hickey.
Rule of Law
Holding and Reasoning (Leyden, J.)