Tuesday, July 15, 2008, 7:59 AM

COA Reverses 2 Orders Granting New Trials

In two unrelated slip-and-fall cases, the COA today reversed the trial courts' setting aside jury verdicts and ordering new trials. In the one, Harrell v. Sagebrush of N.C., LLC, the COA held that the trial court abused its discretion -- a high bar -- when it ordered a new trial because the video of a deposition, the key testimony of which had already been read into the record, had been excluded. In the other, Hines v. Wal-Mart Stores E., L.P., the COA held that the trial court abused its discretion by improperly shifting the burden of proof from the plaintiff to the defendant, improperly making the defendant show that it hadn't acted negligently.

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