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Waters v. Blackshear

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court
591 N.E.2d 184 (1992)


Blackshear (defendant) and Waters (plaintiff) were both minors. Blackshear placed a firecracker in Waters’s left sneaker and lit it. Waters sustained burn injuries when the firecracker went off. Waters and his mother filed suit against Blackshear on the theory that Blackshear acted negligently. The trial judge instructed the jury that Waters could recover only if Blackshear’s act was not intentional or purposeful and, instead, was negligent. The jury held for plaintiffs. Blackshear filed a motion for a judgment notwithstanding the verdict (JNOV) on the ground that the evidence produced at trial showed that Blackshear had acted intentionally, not negligently. The trial judge granted Blackshear’s JNOV motion. Waters’s application for direct appellate review by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court was granted.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wilkins, J.)

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