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Contributory Negligence Decision in Slip and Fall Case

A woman who testified to missing a step and falling down stairs, resulting in back and knee pain, was found 40% contributorily negligent at trial, resulting in only $20,000.00 of her $55,000.00 being awarded by the jury.

The appeals court denied Plaintiff's request for a new trial, stating that it was the jury's perogative to find her contirbutorily negligent, especially given her testimony to missing a step, and in light of the fact that her knee and back pain started many years before her fall.

" As correctly noted by the judge, the plaintiff's deposition testimony that she missed a step was sufficient to raise the issue of comparative negligence. On appeal, the plaintiff argues that a new trial is required because the jury's finding that she was forty percent negligent was against the weight of the evidence. However, it was up to the jury 'to determine the parties' relative percentages of fault'"

Tollen v. Berger (2013)

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