Ferguson v. Rochester City School District
Presiding Justice Henry Scudder
Ferguson appealed from a judgment in favor of the Rochester City School District. She sought damages for injuries she sustained when she slipped and fell on a snow and ice covered walkway on premises owned by the district. A jury found the district not negligent, but a divided panel agreed with Ferguson that the trial court erred in denying her post-trial motion to set aside the verdict and for a retrial as the verdict was contrary to the weight of evidence. It stated the evidence dictated in favor of Ferguson, that the verdict could not have been reached on any fair interpretation of the evidence, noting the trial evidence established the district's efforts to ameliorate the dangerous condition were not reasonable and appropriate, thus the district was negligent. The panel stated, contrary to the dissent's contention, the evidence established the icy condition on the walkway did not result from the weather conditions occurring close in time to the accident, granting reversal. The dissent voted to affirm, opining the court properly denied Ferguson's motion to set aside the verdict.