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Case Law Update: Admissible Evidence in Slip and Fall Cases

Schmude v. Tricam Industries, Inc., No. 08-2370 (2/17/09) is Seventh Circuit Case which affirmed that in an action seeking recovery for injuries sustained from fall from alleged defective ladder, Dist. Ct. did not err in admitting evidence that plaintiff was convicted in 1995 of unlawful sale of firearm without permitting defendant ability to ask plaintiff whether he had been felon at time of 1995 offense. While plaintiff had been felon at time of 1995 offense, Dist. Ct. did not err in withholding said fact from jury since: (1) felony used to support 1995 offense was more that 10 years old; and (2) prejudicial effect of earlier conviction would have outweighed any prejudicial value in jury’s knowledge about said conviction. This Seventh Circuit decision will greatly affect slip and fall cases.