A homeowner who has workers performing maintenance on her home allegedly refuses to turn off her automatic sprinkler system despite workers' requests. Later, a worker slips on a wet ladder and falls. He sues, claiming the homeowner was reckless, and the homeowner asserts the worker was negligent. In a real-life suit from Florence County, that scenario raised a novel question under South Carolina's comparative negligence system: Could a jury compare and offset the plaintiff's alleged ordinary negligence against the defendant's alleged recklessness? It could indeed, the state Supreme Court said in an April 4 first-impression decision. Edward L. Graham (pictured), a lawyer for the worker, hailed the decision.
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