The Law School Authority

Vinyard v. Vinyard Funeral Homes Case Brief

Summary of Vinyard v. Vinyard Funeral Homes, 435 S.W. 2d 392 (1968)

Facts:  P fell on D’s property (funeral homes) and in order to show that D had knowledge of unsafe conditions, it presented evidence that people in the past had made complaints to D’s employees.  D claims that these statements were hearsay but the trial court admitted into evidence.

Issue:  Were the statements that are used to show knowledge on the part of D hearsay?

Holding: NO

Rationale:  These statements were not being admitted to show the truth of the matter asserted but only to show that D had knowledge of the unsafe conditions.  So even if a complaining person had told D’s employee that he fell on the property, we don’t care whether the person was being truthful and he did actually fall.  All we are using this statement is to prove that D had notice of the unsafe conditions.  So statements not hearsay and the best D can get is a limiting instruction from the trial judge.

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