McGuire v. Almy

Procedural History

–          Lower court directed in favor of the defendant.

–          It was determined that judgment for the plaintiff was the correct assessment.


– McGuire (Plaintiff) was a registered nurse, caring for a mentally challenged person for the duration of 14 months prior to the incident. Before being hired, the plaintiff knew that the Almy (Defendant) was insane and had 24 hour care for the defendant at his abode. The D was locked in a room almost all day – and had no prior instances of attacking anyone – prior to the incident the D said that he would kill her if they came in the room…P still went in anyways cause she wanted to help the D – The D struck the P over the head with a leg from the bed, and the resulting injuries occurred….


Should the judge have directed a verdict for the defendant?


No – the judge should have ruled in favor of the plaintiff.


–          Archaic approach for liability for acts done, with out regard to fault, as opposed to what is said to be the general modern theory of liability in tort should rest upon fault.

–          ***Fault is by no means at the present day a universal prerequisite to liability, and the theory that it should be such has been obliged very recently to yield several points to what have been thought to be paramount considerations of public good***

Courts Reasoning

–          Court’s authority, in most courts find, that in the broadest terms, an insane person is liable for his/her torts…

–          An insane person must pay for his support if he is financially able to do so, if he is able to do as such, he should be able to pay for damages that he/she creates…

An insane person by his act does intentional damage to the person or property of another he is liable for that damage in the same circumstances in which a normal person would be liable – thus an insane person is liable for his torts if he is found as such –

–          The D was at fault for an intentional tort, even though there was no fault – as long as you create the contact with purpose or to substantially certain degree, any forthcomings from the conduct holds the d civilly liable


Ruled in favor of the plaintiff.

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