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Paige v. Safeway, Inc.

cars in parking lot

Court: California Courts of Appeal

Docket: A159731(First Appellate District)

Opinion Date: February 10, 2022

Judge: Petrou

Areas of Law: Civil Procedure, Personal Injury

This case law update is brought to you by Freeway Law auto accident and personal injury lawyers in Orange County. The following is not one of our cases, but it is of some significance, and we thought we should share it with our readers for informational purposes. The information above is for informational purposes only and not to be construed as legal advice.

After slipping and falling in the crosswalk of a Safeway parking lot, which was wet due to rain, Paige sued Safeway for negligence and premises liability. She asserted that Safeway failed to exercise due care in the manner it restriped the crosswalk several weeks before her fall by not adopting measures that would have made the crosswalk more slip-resistant. The jury returned a verdict for Safeway.

On appeal, Paige argued the trial court erroneously prohibited her from cross-examining Safeway’s liability expert about standards promulgated by the American Society of Testing and Materials (ASTM) with respect to safe walking surfaces. Paige contends that Evidence Code Section 721(b)(3) makes clear that an adverse expert may be cross-examined about a publication established as reliable authority, such as the ASTM standards, regardless of the expert’s consideration or reliance on the publication in forming his opinions. The court of appeal affirmed. While the trial court erroneously prohibited Paige from using the ASTM standard during her cross-examination of Safeway’s expert based on the expert’s lack of consideration or reliance on it, the error was harmless.

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