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Scott v. Shepherd

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Bloomberg Law

Citation. 484 U.S. 940 108 S. Ct. 323 98 L. Ed. 2d 351 1987 U.S.

Brief Fact Summary. Shepard (Defendant) threw a lighted squib into a crowded marketplace. As a result, two other patrons threw the squib until it struck Scott (Plaintiff) in the face, injuring him. Plaintiff sued Defendant for trespass and assault.

Synopsis of Rule of Law. Everyone who does an unlawful act is considered as the doer of all that follows.

Facts. Defendant threw a lighted squib, made of gunpowder, from the street into the marketplace where large groups of people were assembled. The lighted squib landed near Yates. To prevent injury to himself and Yates, Willis threw the quid across the marketplace. The squib landed next to Ryal. To save his own goods from being injured, Ryal picked up the squib and threw it to another part of the marketplace. The squib then struck Plaintiff in the face. The combustible matter of the lighted squib injured Plaintiff’s eyes. Plaintiff lost the use of his eye. Plaintiff sued Defendant for trespass and assault for throwing, casting, and tossing the lighted squib. The jury returned a verdict in favor of Plaintiff. Defendant appealed.

Issue. Did the injury received by Plaintiff arise from the force of the original act of Defendant, or from a new force by a third person?

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