Turbyfill v. International Harvester Co Case Brief

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					Turbyfill v. International Harvester Co. 486 F.Supp. 232 (1980)


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Turbyfill was buying a truck from International Harvester. The truck wouldn't start. A mechanic named Anderson was helping Turbyfill get the truck started when there was a fire, injuring Turbyfill. Right after the accident, Anderson's manager told Anderson to go into an empty room and write down a statement of exactly what happened (which he did). o Soon after, Anderson died. Turbyfill sued Harvester. At trial, Harvester attempted to introduce Anderson's written statement into evidence. o Turbyfill objected on the grounds that the out-of-court statement was hearsay.  Turbyfill argued that the evidence was being offered to show the proof of the matter asserted within and should be excluded under FRE 801(c) and FRE 802. o Harvester argued that the statement was not hearsay because it was covered by the residual exception in FRE 804(b)(5).  Btw, FRE 804(b)(5) is now known as FRE 807.  FRE 807 says that, "a statement not specifically covered by FRE 803 or FRE 804 but having equivalent circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness, is not excluded by the hearsay rule, if the court determines that:  The statement is offered as evidence of a material fact;  The statement is more probative on the point for which it is offered than any other evidence which the proponent can procure through reasonable efforts; and  The general purposes of these rules and the interests of justice will best be served by admission of the statement

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into evidence. The Trial Judge allowed the statement to be admitted. The Trial Court found for Harvester. Turbyfill appealed on the grounds that the statement had been improperly admitted. The Appellate Court affirmed. o The Appellate Court found that Anderson's statement:  Had circumstantial guarantees of trustworthiness equivalent to other hearsay exceptions.  Was more probative on the points for which it was offered than any other evidence that Harvester could obtain.  Clearly served the interest of justice. o If Anderson was still alive and testified about the record, then it would have been admissible as a past recollection recorded. One could argue that Anderson thought he might get sued or fired and therefore had motive to lie. Is it really trustworthy? If this type of hearsay is admitted, then what is left of the hearsay prohibition?

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