“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.
Tag Archives: Contribution Liability
In re the Estate of Sheldon Beren, deceased; Bev Beren, Zev Beren, Jonathan Beren, and Daniel Beren v. Robert Goodyear as Personal Representative, Miriam Beren, and Joshua Beren, Dena Beren Grossman, and the Estate of Cheryl Beren Feldberger, 2012COA203 (November 21, 2012)
A complicated life can mean a complicated death. Beren died testate in 1996, leaving his first wife and their 4 sons, a second wife (Wife), her two sons (which he adopted) and their biological child. Wife took an elective share in lieu of taking under the will. The probate court awarded Wife an equitable adjustment to her elective share, due to appreciation during the long probate, and approved the personal rep’s final distribution plan creating 2 classes of stock in Beren’s company. The court of appeals, addressing these and other issues, held CRS 15-11-201 does not permit equitable adjustments to elective shares; they are a set dollar amount calculated on the date of death. Also, the 2 classes of stock did not provide each child with an equal share of the estate. The court otherwise affirmed the probate court’s order, including compensation of over $17 million to the representative.