Connolly v. Nicollet Hotel Case Brief

Summary of Connolly v. Nicollet Hotel

P/S: jury brought verdict for P; trial cout gave JNOV to the D, finding P failed to prove negligence; court of appeals reversed, FOR P

F: P was walking along the sidewalk next to the hotel when she was struck in the eye with a “mud like substance"; at the time the D hotel was hosting convention that was extremely rowdy; D’s manager had acknowledged that bad behavior the day before the incident

I: Whether negligence can be assigned to the hotel when the only place from which the substance could have come was the hotel.

H: Negligence may be inferred form all the facts and surrounding circumstances, and where the evidence of such facts and circumstances is such as to take the case out of the realm of conjecture and into the field of legitimate inference, a prima facie case is made

Rule: The law does not require every fact and circumstance which make up a case of negligence to be proved by direct and positive evidence; circumstantial evidence alone may authorize a finding of negligence.

DISSENT: “it is difficult to speculate as to what further precautions should reasonable have been required of defendant without making it an absolute insurer" –Think about policy issues surrounding a ruling for the plaintiff i.e. keeping a guard in every room to make sure nothing goes wrong??




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