In Novembre v. Snyder High School , New Jersey Sports & Exposition Authority and the NJ Nets, the plaintiff claimed she was injured when one of a group of unruly teens fell on her while she was watching a NJ Nets game. Plaintiff claimed that the group of teens were students from Snyder High School who were loud, obscene and rowdy and appeared to be unsupervised. She also alleged that the arena security made little or no effort to control the group.
Plaintiff also testified that after the incident, she heard a young man from the group say ” why did you push her” and she attempted to have that hearsay statement admitted as an “excited utterance”. The trial court excluded the statement after a hearing.
The matter was tried with the jury finding that both Snyder High School and the Sports & Exposition Authority were negligent , but that neither proximately caused plaintiff’s injuries. Plaintiff appealed and the Appellate Division affirmed both the defense verdict and the exclusion of the hearsay statement. As to the hearsay statement , it found that there was no evidence that the unidentified declarant actually observed or perceived the incident , and no evidence that the statement was made ” under the stress of excitement” therefore, that he exception did not apply.
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