Alaniz v. Sun Pacific Shippers, LPAnnotate this Case
Sun Pacific appealed the trial court's judgment after a jury awarded damages against it for injuries sustained by an employee of one of its independent contractors.
The Court of Appeal reversed and remanded for a new trial on the negligence cause of action. The court held that the trial court prejudicially erred because it did not instruct the jury on the Privette/Hooker doctrine as it applies to either negligence or premises liability; Sun Pacific did not forfeit its challenge to the negligence instructions; and the trial court's error was prejudicial. The court also held that the trial court improperly refused a jury instruction on mitigation of damages based on the employee's delay in seeking medical care, and Sun Pacific was entitled to the instruction. Because a properly instructed jury could have found Sun Pacific liable for negligence, the court remanded so a properly instructed jury may evaluate the evidence. Finally, the court held that judgment notwithstanding the verdict should have been granted on the premises liability cause of action. The court remanded for further proceedings.