McCormick v. Kopmann Case Brief

Summary of McCormick v. Kopmann
161 N.E.2d (1959)

Facts: Deceased had drinks at D’s bar. Deceased decided to drive drunk [BAD IDEA] and had a collision with Driver. Deceased’s wife sued Driver and D. In the complaint, wife alleged that Driver negligently caused the accident. In another count, wife alleged that D’s serving of alcohol to Deceased caused the Deceased to drive in a way that caused the accident.

Procedure: Ds filed motion to dismiss because complaint contained contradictory allegations. Court denied the motion.

Issue: Can a complaint contain contradictory legal positions?

Holding: yes

Rationale: A complaint with contradictory or inconsistent legal positions can survive under special circumstances. P can’t recover from both claims but should be allowed to move forward present to the jury the evidence.

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