Rodney Reid v. Daniel Berkowitz, d/b/a Shimon Builders, 2013COA110 (July 18,, 2013)

“Flying is learning how to throw yourself at the ground and miss.” – HHGTTG. Here, Plaintiff fell three stories in a dimly lit house under construction when a handrail gave way. He sued Defendant/landowner and two builders who negligently put up the handrail. The builders defaulted. The jury found for Plaintiff. Defendant appealed. The trial court did not give an instruction to apportion fault between Defendant and the builders; the court of appeals held it should have. But, since landowners have a nondelegable duty to keep property safe, and thus, Defendant was vicariously liable for all of the builders’ liability, the error was harmless. The evidence did support Plaintiff’s contributory negligence, so it was an error not to offer that instruction. Finally, Plaintiff was a licensee, not a trespasser. The case was remanded for a determination of plaintiff’s fault only.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_of_Appeals/Opinion/2013/12CA0769-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9034&courtid=1

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