McDuffey v. Boston & M.R.R.

CourtSupreme Court of New Hampshire
Writing for the CourtKENISON
Citation152 A.2d 606,102 N.H. 179,74 A.L.R.2d 872
Parties, 74 A.L.R.2d 872 Paul McDUFFEY v. BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD. Meyer GREEN, Adm'r v. BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD. Timothy McDUFFEY, by his father and next friend, v. BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD. Kathleen McDUFFEY, by her father and next friend, v. BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD.
Decision Date30 June 1959

Page 606

152 A.2d 606
102 N.H. 179, 74 A.L.R.2d 872
Paul McDUFFEY
v.
BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD.
Meyer GREEN, Adm'r
v.
BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD.
Timothy McDUFFEY, by his father and next friend,
v.
BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD.
Kathleen McDUFFEY, by her father and next friend,
v.
BOSTON & MAINE RAILROAD.
Supreme Court of New Hampshire.
Argued June 3, 1959.
Decided June 30, 1959.

McLane, Carleton, Graf, Greene & Brown, Manchester (Stanley M. Brown, Manchester, orally), for the plaintiffs McDuffey.

Page 608

Green, Green, Romprey & Sullivan, Manchester, for Meyer Green, Adm'r of estate Irene F. McDuffey.

Eugene J. Ratto, Boston, Mass., Burns, Bryant & Hinchey, Dover, and Lawrence E. Spellman, Manchester (Lawrence E. Spellman, Manchester, orally), for the defendant.

KENISON, Chief Justice.

This litigation arises out of a collision at Littlefield's Crossing in the town of Newfields between an automobile operated by one of the plaintiffs and the defendant's train. Prior to trial the plaintiffs have sought and the Court has ordered discovery of 'all written reports of accidents and near collisions at Littlefield's Crossing between highway users and the defendant's trains, in the possession of the defendant.' The defendant contends that the order for discovery in this case is an unwarranted fishing expedition which should not be permitted under the doctrine of discovery as announced in recent cases. It contends that the present discovery order is a harassment and an impertinent intrusion into the defendant's files and is therefore not a proper object of discovery. The defendant finally urges the Court to review its recent decisions on discovery for the purpose of limiting [102 N.H. 181] their breadth and scope. Therrien v. Public Service Company, 99 N.H. 197, 108 A.2d 48; Reynolds v. Boston & Maine Transportation Co., 98 N.H. 251, 98 A.2d 157, 37 A.L.R.2d 1149; Lincoln v. Langley, 99 N.H. 158, 106 A.2d 383. Counsel perform a useful function to the Bar and to the public in so doing as this at least serves to prevent the court from unwittingly extending a legal doctrine beyond proper bounds.

Discovery in civil actions has been regarded in this jurisdiction as a proper procedural aid for the parties to prepare their case in advance of trial and has been given a broad and liberal interpretation. Drake v. Bowles, 97 N.H. 471, 92 A.2d 161; Town of New Castle v. Rand, 101 N.H. 201, 136 A.2d 914. In encouraging use of discovery and depositions (Krook v. Blomberg, 95 N.H. 170, 59 A.2d 482), it has been pointed out that it operates with desirable flexibility under the discretionary control of the Presiding Justice of the Trial Court (Drake v. Bowles, supra) and that this is a logical method of preventing surprise and permitting both court and counsel to have an intelligent grasp of the issues to be litigated and knowledge of the facts underlying them....

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18 practice notes
  • Riddle Spring Realty Co. v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • June 30, 1966
    ...in the regular course of the laying out of highways, would not come within the attorney-client privilege. McDuffey v. Boston & Maine R.R., 102 N.H. 179, 152 A.2d 606, 75 A.L.R.2d 872; Brink v. Multnomah County, 224 Or. 507, 517, 356 P.2d 536; McCormick, Evidence, s. 93, p. 188. Nor would th......
  • In re N.H. Sec'y of State, No. 2018-0208
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • January 24, 2019
    ...amendment of RSA 654:45, VI addresses the issue of discovery, a quintessentially procedural matter. See McDuffey v. Boston & Maine R. R., 102 N.H. 179, 181, 152 A.2d 606 (1959) (noting that civil discovery is a procedural aid for the parties in litigation); see also Jacob v. Chaplin, 639 N.......
  • Klatz v. Armor Elevator Co., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • May 23, 1983
    ...R.R., Co., 118 NY 399, 405 ; Henwood v Chaney, 156 F.2d 392, 397 [8th Cir.1946] )." The case of McDuffy v. Boston and Maine Railroad, 102 N.H. 179, 152 A.2d 606 goes even further than Eisenbraum (supra ). In McDuffy, the plaintiff was injured when the car in which he was riding collided wit......
  • Jarvis v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, Nos. 80-451
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • July 14, 1982
    ...the parties to prepare a case in advance of trial and must be given a broad and liberal interpretation, McDuffey v. Boston & Maine RR., 102 N.H. 179, 181, 152 A.2d 606, 608 (1959), it is subject to limitations, mainly for the protection of the parties against harassment. Riddle Spring Realt......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
18 cases
  • Riddle Spring Realty Co. v. State
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • June 30, 1966
    ...in the regular course of the laying out of highways, would not come within the attorney-client privilege. McDuffey v. Boston & Maine R.R., 102 N.H. 179, 152 A.2d 606, 75 A.L.R.2d 872; Brink v. Multnomah County, 224 Or. 507, 517, 356 P.2d 536; McCormick, Evidence, s. 93, p. 188. Nor would th......
  • In re N.H. Sec'y of State, No. 2018-0208
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • January 24, 2019
    ...amendment of RSA 654:45, VI addresses the issue of discovery, a quintessentially procedural matter. See McDuffey v. Boston & Maine R. R., 102 N.H. 179, 181, 152 A.2d 606 (1959) (noting that civil discovery is a procedural aid for the parties in litigation); see also Jacob v. Chaplin, 639 N.......
  • Klatz v. Armor Elevator Co., Inc.
    • United States
    • New York Supreme Court Appellate Division
    • May 23, 1983
    ...R.R., Co., 118 NY 399, 405 ; Henwood v Chaney, 156 F.2d 392, 397 [8th Cir.1946] )." The case of McDuffy v. Boston and Maine Railroad, 102 N.H. 179, 152 A.2d 606 goes even further than Eisenbraum (supra ). In McDuffy, the plaintiff was injured when the car in which he was riding collided wit......
  • Jarvis v. Prudential Ins. Co. of America, Nos. 80-451
    • United States
    • Supreme Court of New Hampshire
    • July 14, 1982
    ...the parties to prepare a case in advance of trial and must be given a broad and liberal interpretation, McDuffey v. Boston & Maine RR., 102 N.H. 179, 181, 152 A.2d 606, 608 (1959), it is subject to limitations, mainly for the protection of the parties against harassment. Riddle Spring Realt......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

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