Boyd & Jenerette Wins Appeal and Defense Verdict is Reinstated

August 21, 2019 by on News

Kansas R. Gooden and Kevin D. Franz successfully obtained an opinion from the Fifth District Court of Appeal reversing entry of a new trial and remanding for the trial court to reinstate the jury’s defense verdict in favor of a homeowner.

Plaintiff, a professional insurance adjuster, fell from an attic through a garage ceiling while inspecting a home.  He sued the homeowner for premises liability, and the jury returned a defense verdict finding that the homeowner was not negligent.

Plaintiff’s counsel moved for a mistrial during Defendant’s closing argument regarding a single, isolated comment.  Plaintiff objected on the basis of Golden Rule.  After the jury returned a defense verdict and was discharged, the trial judge granted the mistrial and ordered a new trial.  However, the order contained an additional ground, which was not asserted by the Plaintiff – conscience of the community.

On behalf of the homeowner, we appealed arguing that the trial court abused its discretion in granting the mistrial and ordering a new trial.  The Fifth District Court of Appeal held that the lone comment was not a Golden Rule violation.  The appellate court found that any argument that the statement was a conscience of the community violation was not preserved through a contemporaneous objection.

Kansas R. Gooden
Shareholder / Practice Group Leader
Direct: 904.493.3755

Kevin D. Franz
Senior Associate
Direct: 954.622.0093

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