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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

Ind. Decisions - 7th Circuit decides one Indiana case today

In Kurt Stuhlmacher v. Home Depot U.S.A., Inc. (ND Ind., Rodovich), a 9-page opinion, Judge Williams writes:

Kurt Stuhlmacher’s parents pur-chased a ladder from Home Depot so that their son could work on the roof of a cabin he was building for them. Kurt was using the ladder for the first time when it fell, causing him to fall. Kurt and his wife brought a personal injury action against Home Depot and the ladder’s manufacturer, Tricam Industries. At trial, the Stuhlmachers’ expert, Dr. Thomas Conry, testified that the ladder was defective, likely causing Kurt to sense instability and involuntarily shift his weight. The magistrate judge struck Dr. Conry’s testimony, finding that Dr. Conry’s explanation of how the accident oc-curred did not “square” with Kurt’s testimony that the lad-der shot out to his left.

Because the testimony was stricken, the Stuhlmachers did not have any evidence showing causation, so the judge entered judgment as a matter of law for the defendants. We hold that the magistrate judge abused his discretion in strik-ing Dr. Conry’s testimony. We reverse the judgment of the district court and remand the case for a new trial.

Posted by Marcia Oddi on December 17, 2014 07:38 PM
Posted to Ind. (7th Cir.) Decisions