Supreme Court to decide on reasonable inferences from surveillance video.

 
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Byline: Michaela Paukner, mpaukner@wislawjournal.com

The amount of information a jury can infer from a video is at the center of a case in front of the Wisconsin Supreme Court. The high court is deciding if a surveillance video showing the moment of a slip-and-fall is enough evidence to hold a Wisconsin grocery store liable for the man's injuries.

In May 2014, Jose Correa slipped and fell in the dairy aisle at the Woodman's Market in Oak Creek. He told an employee, who cleaned up the liquid on the floor, and reported the incident to the company.

In 2016, Correa filed an action against Woodman's, alleging claims of negligence and violation of Wisconsin's safe-place statute. Woodman's filed a motion for summary judgment, arguing Correa didn't have any evidence that Woodman's employees knew there was liquid on the floor before he fell.

The trial court denied the motion, and a jury heard arguments in the case in 2018. Jurors watched a 10-minute surveillance video clip from the time of the fall. Theyultimately decided Woodman's was responsible and awarded Correa money damages.The trial court denied all post-verdict motions and found the jury had enough evidence to support its conclusion. Woodman's appealed, and the appellate court ordered the case remanded to circuit court with instructions to vacate judgment and dismiss the case.

The state Supreme Court decided to take up the case in October and heard oral arguments on Jan. 21. The justices are weighing whether the jury was able to draw reasonable inferences from the surveillance video.

The justices asked why Woodman's only saved 10 minutes of video. Lisa Lawless, who representedWoodman's, said it was because the employee didn't see anything spill in the 90 minutes...

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