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JAMA 100 Years Ago
October 10, 2001


Author Affiliations

JAMA 100 Years Ago Section Editor: Jennifer Reiling, Assistant Editor.

JAMA. 2001;286(14):1685. doi:10.1001/jama.286.14.1685

Fifteen Thousand Dollars for Death of Physician.—The second appellate division of the Supreme Court of New York holds, in the case of Ericius vs. the Brooklyn Heights Railroad Company, that it can not be said that an award of $15,000 damages is excessive, for causing the death, through negligence, of a physician about 50 years old, who was earning in the practice of his profession, $175 a month.

Admissibility of Non-Expert Opinion as to Imbecility.—A non-expert witness who has had adequate means of becoming acquainted with the mental state of a person whose sanity is in issue may, no doubt, the Supreme Court of Louisiana says, in the case of State vs. Smith, give his opinion, based upon facts to be stated by him, as to whether such person was insane at the time of a specific occurrence. And it thinks that such an opinion would be admissible, subject to the limitation mentioned, upon the question whether the person inquired about had been insane or had been an imbecile throughout his life. But, without the limitation, it would not be admissible. In other words, the court holds that the opinions of non-expert witnesses as to the imbecility or insanity of the accused are admissible only in connection with testimony as to the facts upon which such opinions are predicated.

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