Improperly Excluded Evidence Results in New Personal Injury Trial

Posted on: July 10th, 2012       Attorney Thomas Newell

An opinion published in 2008 from the PA Superior Court overturned a trial court’s ruling and permitted the Pennsylvania personal injury victim to fully present her case to a jury.  An 11 year-old girl was visiting a friend’s home when she walked into a sliding glass door in the rear of the house.  The glass door shattered causing severe facial injuries to the young girl.

Her PA personal injury lawyer filed a lawsuit versus the homeowner.  During the discovery process, evidence showed that the door was not made of safety glass and that the front door had shattered before her accident.  The trial judge refused to permit the Pennsylvania personal injury attorney to submit this evidence at trial and the jury ruled in favor of the homeowner.

The Pennsylvania Appeals Court overruled the trial judge.  It noted that the jury should have been informed of the past incident, as well as the homeowner’s prior installation of safety glass in the front sliding door.  The PA personal injury victim was given a new trial to present all of the evidence to a new jury.  Houdeshell v. Rice, 939 A.2d 981 (Pa. Super. 2007)