Horvitz & Levy convinced the Court of Appeal to uphold a jury verdict in favor of a homeowner sued for personal injuries by a guest on a premises liability theory.
Plaintiff slipped on the wet floor at the defendant’s home. The homeowner had hired a woman to serve for a few hours in his kitchen during a Shabbat gathering. Plaintiff’s daughter testified she told the woman there were water spills on the tile floor, which the woman neglected to wipe up. The jury found that the homeowner was not negligent, resulting in a judgment for the homeowner.
Horvitz & Levy was retained to defend the judgment on appeal. Plaintiff claimed the verdict was tainted by the trial court’s erroneous refusal to also instruct the jury on vicarious liability. The Court of Appeal agreed with Horvitz & Levy’s argument that there was no error because there was no substantial evidence that the woman hired by the homeowner was the homeowner's employee or agent, rather than an independent contractor.