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Terwilliger v. Wands

Court of Appeals of New York
17 N.Y. 54 (1858)


Facts

Wands (defendant) was spreading a rumor that Terwilliger (plaintiff) was sleeping with Mrs. Fuller, and that Terwilliger planned to do whatever he could to keep Mrs. Fuller’s husband in prison so he could continue having sexual relations with her. This statement was untrue, but when Terwilliger heard it was being spread about him, he became both mentally and physically ill and had to seek medical treatment. He could not do any work, and had to hire additional help for his crops. Terwilliger brought suit against Wands for slander, seeking damages. The trial court held Wands was not liable, and Terwilliger appealed.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Strong, 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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