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Simblest v. Maynard

United States Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit
427 F.2d 1 (1970)


Simblest (plaintiff) was a citizen of New Hampshire and on a business trip in Burlington, Vermont on November 9, 1965. Maynard (defendant) was a resident of Vermont and a full time fireman for the Burlington, Vermont Fire Department at the time of the accident at issue in this case. On the evening of November 9, Simblest was approaching the intersection of Main Street and South Willard Street in Burlington. According to his testimony, Simblest approached the intersection where a green light was in his favor. Approximately halfway through crossing the intersection, Simblest claims the power to the traffic signal went out. While he was passing through the intersection, a fire engine driven by Maynard with its sirens on hit Simblest. Maynard and other witnesses claim that the power to the traffic signal had been out for ten to fifteen minutes before Simblest entered the intersection. Simblest sued Maynard. At trial, Maynard made motions for a directed verdict both at the conclusion of Simblest’s case in chief as well as at the conclusion of the presentation of evidence. Both were denied. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Simblest. Maynard made a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict, which was granted by the trial court, setting aside the verdict. Simblest appealed.

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