Federal Procedure – Juries – Attacking Release for Fraud in Action at Law

Plaintiff brought an action to recover damages for personal injuries. Defendant filed an answer and asserted that plaintiff had executed a release in full for all claims against the defendant. In his reply plaintiff admitted that he had executed the release, but claimed that it was obtained by fraud on the part of the defendant. The district court granted defendant’s motion to deny a jury trial on the ground that the matter of determining the validity of a release was properly cognizable in equity and that therefore plaintiff was not entitled to a jury trial on this issue. On appeal by plaintiff, held, reversed. The defendant was not entitled to a trial in equity since he had adequate protection at law. Bowie v. Sorrell, (4th Cir. 1953) 209 F. (2d) 49.