April 8, 2020

McGurie v. Almy | Case Brief - 297 Mass. 323, 8 N.E.2d 760 (1937) - Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts

Facts: Plaintiff was attendant nurse for defendant who was insane. One day the Defendant began breaking furniture in a wild fashion in his room. The Plaintiff contacted a brother-in-law to help and was also accompanied by a maid. That Plaintiff eventually entered the room while the maid and brother-in-law stood by the door. At the time the insane person had stopped breaking furniture and was holding onto the leg of a low-boy. When the Plaintiff entered the room the defendant struck her. 

Procedural History: Trial court ruled for the Plaintiff.

Issue: Can an insane person be held liable if they are able to entertain thoughts of intent?

Holding: Yes

Rationale: If an insane person can entertain thoughts of intent then the damage that person causes can be intentional damage which creates liability.

Disposition: Judgement for the plaintiff on the verdict.