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Bobbie Brooks v. Hyatt

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Citation Edit

Bobbie Brooks, Inc v. Hyatt, 195 Neb. 596, 239 N.W.2d 792 (1976) (full-text).

Factual Background Edit

The plaintiff sought to recover the value of merchandise unaccounted for by the defendant, a former salesman of the plaintiff. The only evidence plaintiff offered was a computer printout showing a certain sum owed by the defendant. The witness who testified concerning the printout was not the custodian of records at the time they were made. The trial court found the evidence inadmissible.

At trial, the witness testified that he had personally observed plaintiff’s record-keeping procedures before entering its employment. Furthermore, he indicated that because of his expertise in the computer field, he could determine the methods of input by studying the output. Finally, he testified that the plaintiff's computer information was transferred to him by the previous custodian during the normal course of business.

State Supreme Court Proceedings Edit

The Nebraska Supreme Court held that the testimony was sufficient to insure that the sources of information, and method and time of preparation were such as to justify admission of the output. The printout was the type of evidence that the Nebraska Business Records Act was meant to cover[1] The court concluded by stating that:

the witness need not be the custodian of the records at the time they were made. To hold otherwise would fail to recognize the "realities of business," and would exclude a great amount of reliable evidence concerning the activities of large business organizations.[2]

ReferencesEdit

  1. Neb. Rev. Stat. § 25-12, 109.
  2. 195 Neb. at 600, 293 N.W.2d at 795.

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