Regalado v. CallaghanAnnotate this Case
Jeffrey Callaghan hired Dunn's Designer Pools (Dunn's), a landscape and pool contractor, to build a pool and spa at his home. Victor Regalado, a Dunn's employee, suffered injuries when he installed a propane fueled pool heater on Callaghan's property. Regalado sued Callaghan for negligence and premises liability. The jury found Callaghan was negligent; the trial court ultimately entered judgment against Callaghan in the amount of approximately $3 million. Callaghan appealed, arguing: (1) the court erred by failing to instruct the jury that a person who hires an independent contractor was not liable for injuries to the contractor's employee unless the hirer's negligent exercise of retained control "affirmatively contributed" to the employee's injury; (2) insufficient evidence supported the jury's verdicts on both premises liability and negligence; (3) Regalado's counsel committed misconduct by urging the jury to base its verdict on protecting the community; (4) the trial court erred by permitting Regalado to recover past wages because Dunn's had continued to pay his salary after the accident; and (5) the jury's award of future medical costs had to be reduced because it was not supported by substantial evidence. Rejecting all of Callaghan's arguments, the Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment.