Plaintiff Alice Staab was injured when she fell from her wheelchair as it went over an unmarked four to five inch drop-off at the Holy Cross Parish School. At the time, Staab’s wheelchair was being pushed by her husband, Richard. Alice Staab sued the Diocese of St. Cloud for negligence. A jury trial was held. The jury found the Diocese and Richard Staab were each 50% at fault for Staab’s injuries and awarded total damages of in excess of $200,000. The district court ordered the Diocese to pay the entire damages award. The Court of Appeals reversed the district court’s order requiring the Diocese to pay the entire damages award.
On appeal to the supreme court, the issue presented is whether under Minn. Stat. § 604.02, subd. 1 (2008), a party defendant found at fault by a jury should have its damages liability to the plaintiff reduced by the percentage of fault attributed by the jury to a non-party. Hearing before the Minnesota Supreme Court is tomorrow morning.