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Case No. 19-0545

Kimberly Ransdell
v.
Huckleberry Entertainment, LLC

Appellant

Kimberly Ransdell

Appellee

Huckleberry Entertainment, LLC

Attorneys for Appellant

Steven J. Crowley, Edward J. Prill, and Andrew L. Mahoney

Attorneys for Appellee

Clark I. Mitchell

Court of Appeals

Court of Appeals Opinion

Opinion Number:
19-0545
Date Published:
Sep 23, 2020
Summary

            Appeal from the Iowa District Court for Des Moines County, Mark E. Kruse, Judge.  AFFIRMED.  Considered by Tabor, P.J., and May and Greer, JJ.  Opinion by Greer, J.  Dissent by Tabor, P.J.  (27 pages)

            Kimberly Ransdell contends the district court should have granted her motion for new trial.  She contends that, after granting her motion in limine foreclosing Huckleberry Entertainment, LLC’s evidence of comparative fault, the district court wrongly allowed Huckleberry Entertainment to argue that affirmative defense in closing.  She argues the district court compounded its error by instructing the jury on comparative fault.  OPINION HOLDS: We find no error and affirm the district court ruling denying Ransdell’s motion for new trial.  DISSENT ASSERTS: I respectfully dissent from the majority’s conclusion that there were no legal errors when the district court reversed its motion in limine on comparative fault in closing arguments and instructed the jury on the affirmative defense.  Because the district court misused the doctrine of “curative admissibility” and substantial evidence did not support submission of comparative-fault instructions to the jury, errors of law occurred in the proceedings.  And these errors materially affected Ransdell’s substantial rights as she relied on the court’s pretrial ruling throughout trial.  I would reverse and remand for retrial. 

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