Santelli v. RahmatullahAnnotate this Case
In 2005, Plaintiff was robbed and murdered inside his room in a motel owned by Defendant. Joseph Pryor confessed to robbing and killing Plaintiff and was sentenced to eighty-five years in prison for these crimes. In 2007, Plaintiff's estate filed a complaint against Defendant, alleging that Defendant breached his duty to Plaintiff to maintain the motel in a reasonably safe manner. The jury apportioned the fault for Plaintiff's death as follows: one percent to Plaintiff, two percent to Defendant, and ninety-seven percent to Pryor. The Estate subsequently filed a motion to correct error and for a new trial. The trial court ordered a new trial limited to the issue of fault allocation but summarily denied the remainder of the Estate's motion, including the trial court's alleged errors of permitting the jury to allocate fault to Pryor and rejecting the Estate's tendered instruction that would have informed the jurors they could find Defendant liable for Pryor's criminal act. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding that the trial court did not err in permitting the jury to allocate fault to Pryor and in refusing the Estate's tendered instruction that would have permitted the jury to hold Defendant liable for Pryor's intentional act.