Dupont, et al. v. Fred's Stores of Tennessee, Inc., No. 10-2977 (8th Cir. 2011)Annotate this Case
Plaintiff and her husband filed a negligence action seeking damages related to plaintiff's injuries, which were caused by falling plastic bins that struck her on the head in defendant's store. Plaintiff subsequently appealed the district court's dismissal of the complaint with prejudice. The court held that defendant's failure to plead contributory negligence did not make all evidence regarding plaintiff's conduct excludable and the district court did not abuse its discretion by denying plaintiff's motion in limine. The court also held that the district court did not abuse its discretion in refusing to instruct the jury on the doctrine of res ipsa loquitur. The court further held that, because res ipsa loquitur did not apply, the court need not decide whether plaintiff was correct in her assertion that giving Instruction 16 was error because it was inconsistent with the res ipsa loquitur doctrine. The court finally held that because Instruction 14, based on Arkansas Model Jury Instructions 305B and 602, did not affect plaintiff's substantial rights and any error was harmless, the court affirmed the district court's judgment.