A recent case, Anderson v. Jersey Creamery Co., invokes a discussion of the problems of judicial knowledge particularly as it is pertinent to cases involving medical science. This was an action under the Survival Act for electrocution of defendant's employee, who, while working in a wet truck, came in contact with a charged conduit. To maintain the action it was necessary to show that the death was not instantaneous. The father of the deceased testified that he saw his son's face twitch and fingers move while resuscitation was being attempted with a pulmotor. The plaintiff produced no medical testimony to show that the acts testified to were evidences of life. Verdict for the plaintiff. The trial judge granted a motion non obstante veredicto, concluding, after an examination of the law and an extensive "independent investigation" upon the general subject of electrocution, that death was instantaneous. Held, inter alia, that the trial court erred in basing its decision upon the contents of scientific books.
Edward D. Ransom,
EVIDENCE - JUDICIAL NOTICE OF MEDICAL FACTS - JUDGE'S RIGHT OF PRIVATE INVESTIGATION,
Mich. L. Rev.
Available at: https://repository.law.umich.edu/mlr/vol36/iss4/6