Dickson v. Yale University

In Dickson v. Yale University (1954) 141 Conn. 250, plaintiff attended a class reunion, returned to his fourth floor dormitory room, and left the door open to an exterior balcony, which had no protection other than an 18-inch parapet. Within an hour, a witness in a ground floor room saw plaintiff fall and land outside, directly below the balcony. (Id. at p. 252-253.) Defendant university conceded its negligence in building the balcony. The issue was whether that negligence was a substantial factor in causing plaintiff's injuries. Dickson held that because proof of a material fact by inference from circumstantial evidence need not be so conclusive as to exclude every other hypothesis, it did not strain reasonable probability to hold that the flagrantly dangerous condition of defendant's premises directly caused the accident and the jury was entitled to so conclude. (Id. at pp. 253-255.) Thus Dickson reversed an order setting aside the judgment, and ordered judgment for plaintiff be entered on the verdict. (Id. at p. 256.)