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Tag Archives: comparative negligence

Court: Recklessness should be weighed in comparative negligence (access required)

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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$4.4 million verdict over power line that stayed live after crash

An Upstate teen who emerged unhurt from a single-vehicle wreck only to suffer electrocution when he touched a downed power line has won a $4.4 million verdict against Duke Power Co. in a negligence suit. A Greenville County jury awarded actual damages to plaintiff Xavier Massey on March 11 in Massey v. Duke Power Co., civil action No. 2009-CP-23-7220. Judge Robin Stilwell pre-sided in the Greenville County Court of Common Pleas. Massey's lawyers said a key factor in winning the verdict was countering a corporate policy under which Duke claimed evidence from the scene wasn't subject to disclosure.

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