Saturday, November 19, 2011

Court reviews a jury's allocation of fault and jury instructions in a case involving an injury that occurred at a construction site

BENJAMIN INDOCCIO v. M&A BUILDERS, LLC, ET AL. (Tenn. Ct. App. November 15, 2011)

This appeal arises from injuries Plaintiff sustained after falling down a staircase while working on the construction of a home. Plaintiff filed a negligence action against the general contractor and the subcontractor responsible for the construction of the custom staircase. The matter was tried before a jury, and the jury returned a verdict finding Plaintiff fifty percent at fault, the subcontractor thirty-five percent at fault, and the general contractor fifteen percent at fault.

After his motion for new trial was denied, Plaintiff filed this appeal. Plaintiff asserts that the trial court erred by excluding evidence that the subcontractor's employees used marijuana while working on the construction of the staircase, and erred by excluding evidence of misdemeanor convictions and probation violations of one of the subcontractor's employees. Plaintiff also asserts that the trial court erroneously instructed the jury regarding notice, negligence, and foreseeability.

After thoroughly reviewing the record, we find that the trial court did not abuse its discretion by excluding the evidence of alleged marijuana use or the evidence of misdemeanor convictions and probation violations. Similarly, we find that the jury instructions on notice, negligence, and foreseeability were proper. Accordingly, we affirm the judgment of the trial court.

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