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Simmons, Inc. v. Pinkerton’s, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
762 F.2d 591 (7th Cir. 1985)


Simmons, Inc. (Simmons) (plaintiff) hired Pinkerton’s, Inc. (Pinkerton’s) (defendant) to provide security for Simmons’s warehouse. A fire caused extensive damage to the warehouse, and the Indiana fire marshal determined that the fire was caused by William Hayne, a Pinkerton’s security guard assigned to the warehouse. Simmons brought suit against Pinkerton’s for property damages. Before trial, Hayne agreed to take a polygraph test at the request of a Pinkerton’s investigator, but never scheduled the test. Nevertheless, Hayne told the investigator that he had taken the test and passed. At trial, Simmons called Hayne as a witness and asked him, over Pinkerton’s objection, if he had lied about taking the polygraph. Hayne admitted to lying about the polygraph. The district court permitted this line of questioning as evidence of Hayne’s character for truthfulness under Federal Rule of Evidence (FRE) 608(b). The district court found in favor of Simmons. Pinkerton’s appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Cudahy, J.)

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