W.R. Reeves v. Central of Georgia Railway Company
The main issues in this case is whether the testimony provided by Reeves while on the stand was hearsay evidence and if it should have been allowed to be entered as evidence.
This is a Hearsay rule case. The hearsay rule of evidence excludes witness testimony that is not from personal knowledge of the witness but instead from the repetition of what was said or written outside the court by another person. This is offered for the purpose of establishing the truth of what was said. (p. 172)
The hearsay rule of evidence avoids testimony from a person who make an out of court statement that may be a joke, lie, or someone carelessly speaking. The witness testimony may have a poor memory and not remember the entire statement. The exclusionary rule guarantees the opportunity to cross examine the person who made the out of court statement and prevent unreliable evidence from being considered.
The Court examined this issue in Barbara Harris v. Toys R Us Company, stating that hearsay evidence was testified by Harris. While shopping at Toys R Us, a toy car fell from the shelf and struck Harris in the head causing a head injury. Harris testified that an employee told her that she placed the toy on the shelf incorrectly and apologized for the incident. The evidence testified by Harris was hearsay from a statement made by the Toys R Us employee.
Since the testimony by Reeves was hearsay, then this evidence should have not been allowed to be presented. The statement the Reeves testifies in court about his injuries is not his statement, it is what he was told by his physician. The defendant does not have an opportunity to cross examine the statements made by the physician.
The court should rule in favor of the Central Georgia Railway Company because the evidence provided by Reeves was hearsay evidence.