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Court affirms verdict for woman who fell through unguarded access hole in attic

In Evans v. McBride, the Court of Appeals upheld a jury's decision that the homeowners' insurer should compensate a women who fell through an access hole that was covered only by drywall. The insurer posed numerous objections to the verdict, including claims that the homeowner owed no duty to warn of the danger, that the woman who fell should have observed it in time to avoid the hole, that the plaintiffs should not have been able to instruct the jury that the hole was a violation of a municipal ordinance, and raised other technical complaints with how the trial was conducted. The Court of Appeals dismissed these objections and upheld the verdict, noting in particular that the Defendant was aware for months that the plaintiff intended to establish the violation of a safety ordinance, and that the ordinance was relevant to showing that the access hole was an unsafe condition.

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