January 24, 2016

Glidden v. Szybiak | Case Brief - 95 N.H. 318, 63 A.2d 233 (1949) - Supreme Court of New Hampshire

FACTS:  A four year old, Elaine, went to the store to get some candy and began playing with the dog Toby on the steps.  She eventually sat on the back of the dog and pulled its ears and the dog proceeded to bite her in the nose.

HISTORY: Defendants excepted to denial of their motions for judgement at the close of evidence and to the court's findings that she was too young to be guilty of committing a trespass.

ISSUE: Was Elaine engaged in a trespass at the time the injury was sustained?

HOLDING: No

RATIONALE: The law of the trespass of chattels states that there need be :

- the chattel impaired as to its condition, quality, or value

- the possessor is deprived of the use of the chattell for substantial time
- bodily harm is thereby caused to the possessor or harm is cause to some person or thing in which the possessor has a legally protected interest

There was no injury to the dog and therefore no trespass to chattels and therefore she could not be held liable.

DISPOSITION: Judgement on the verdict against the defendant Jane.