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Hearsay Excited Utterance Cases Summarized By Acccident Attorney

This page within Virginia Tort Case Law is a compilation of cases reported by the Virginia Supreme Court and summarized by Brien Roche dealing with the topic of Hearsay Excited Utterance and the related topic of personal injury. For more information on hearsay see the pages on Wikipedia.

Hearsay Excited Utterance-Cases

1992 Faison v. Hudson, 243 Va. 397, 417 S.E.2d 305.

Intersection accident. Statement made by witness five minutes after accident is not excited utterance.

1984 Doe v. Thomas, 227 Va. 466, 318 S.E.2d 382.

Plaintiff was visited in hospital 18 hours after accident by his sister. He was described by her as being groggy and “he came and went.” He stated during that meeting “a car ran me out of the road.” Plaintiff offered that evidence as an exception to hearsay rule, i.e., spontaneous declaration. Party who relies upon exception to exclusionary rule of evidence bears burden of establishing admissibility. One seeking to have hearsay declarations of witness admitted as exception must clearly show they are within exception. Plaintiff failed to establish that hearsay declaration was made at such time and under such circumstances as to preclude presumption that it was result of deliberation. Case reversed.

1977 Nicholau v. Harrington, 217 Va. 618, 231 S.E.2d 318.

Under res gestae exception to hearsay rule, excited utterances prompted by startling event and not product of premeditation, reflection or design are admissible in evidence. Statement six or seven minutes after accident, with no suggestion of excited declaration or instinctive reaction to startling event, was inadmissible hearsay evidence.

1959 Portsmouth Transit Co. v. Brickhouse, 200 Va. 844, 108 S.E.2d 385.

Auto accident case. Driver’s account of accident 20 minutes afterwards was not hearsay excited utterance.

1952 Umberger v. Koop, 194 Va. 123, 72 S.E.2d 370.

Hearsay excited utterance.Where circumstances of occasion so excite and control mind of speaker that his statements are natural and spontaneous, then they are part of res gestae and thus are admissible as substantive evidence and not just for impeachment purposes.

1944 Chappell v. Mite, 182 Va. 625, 29 S.E.2d 858.

Elements of res gestae: (1) statement must elucidate main event; (2) it must be natural statement growing out of event; (3) it must be statement of fact; (4) it must be spontaneous and evoked by transaction; (5) it must be made at such time as to preclude presumption that it was product of deliberation; and (6) it must appear to have been made by witness or participant. In this case, statements of child were held to be opinion and not admissible.

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