Brief Fact Summary. This action was initially brought in district court under diversity jurisdiction. Under the Maryland statute, the district court was required to direct a verdict for the defendant when there is insufficient evidence to go to the jury. The evidence showed that the injury could have occurred, with equal probability, in each of two ways, only one of which could be attributed to the Defendant.
Synopsis of Rule of Law. The federal standard for examining sufficiency of the evidence to go to the jury should be applied in federal diversity actions.
Issue. Whether federal or state statutes should be applied by the court in determining the sufficiency of the evidence to go to the jury?
Held. The federal standard applies. In this case, there was sufficient evidence on the question of proximate causation to go to the jury.
Nevertheless, permissible inferences must still be within the range of reasonable probability, and it is the duty of the court to withdraw the case from the jury when the necessary inference is so tenuous that it rests merely upon speculation and conjecture.View Full Point of Law