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IACURCI V. LUMMUS CO., 387 U. S. 86 (1967)

U.S. Supreme Court

Iacurci v. Lummus Co., 387 U.S. 86 (1967)

Iacurci v. Lummus Co.

No. 6, Misc.

Decided May 15, 1967

387 U.S. 86


In this wrongful death diversity action, the District Court Judge submitted the question of negligence to the jury by a special interrogatory which asked that, if it found negligent design of the "skip hoist," it indicate which of five specific design aspects it had found unsafe. The jury returned a special verdict for petitioner, but answered only one of the five subsections. Respondent's motion for judgment notwithstanding the verdict was denied, and respondent appealed. The Court of Appeals concluded that respondent's negligence was not established as to the four design aspects that were unanswered, and, holding that the evidence did not support a finding of negligence on the fifth aspect, reversed with instructions to enter judgment for respondent. Petitioner's request for rehearing was denied. Since this Court does not share the Court of Appeals' confidence as to the meaning of the jury's failure to answer four subdivisions of the interrogatory, held, the Court of Appeals erred in directing judgment for respondent, and the case should have been remanded to the Trial Judge, who was in the best position to pass upon the question of a new trial.

Certiorari granted; 340 F.2d 868, vacated in part and remanded.

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